Germany unenthusiastic about Syria expert visit

BEIRUT (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has responded unenthusiastically to a Russian proposal that experts from the international chemical weapons watchdog visit the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria.

A senior Russian lawmaker said earlier Tuesday that Moscow is willing to help arrange a visit. Asked in Berlin on Tuesday whether she supports the idea, Merkel replied that “the evidence that chemical weapons were used there is very, very clear.”

She added: “as far as I can concerned, that can be checked over again, but it doesn’t help us as we condemn the case.” Merkel said that “we must speak very, very clearly.”

Syrian opposition activists say 40 people died in Saturday’s chemical attack in Douma. The opposition blamed President Bashar Assad’s forces, accusations the government strongly denies.