UK says time running out for Syrian chemical attack inspection

LONDON Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:01pm BST

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives at 10 Downing Street, in central London, July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives at 10 Downing Street, in central London, July 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain warned on Friday that U.N. inspectors needed urgent access to the site of a reported chemical weapons attack in Syria because evidence could deteriorate or be concealed by those responsible.

"Time is of the essence," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on his official Twitter feed. "Every day without U.N. access is a day in which evidence can deteriorate or be hidden by those responsible."

Hague said Britain planned to hold urgent talks on Friday with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah.

"We are pressing for immediate access for the U.N. team and consulting allies on response to this terrible atrocity," Hague wrote.

Britain has said it still believes a political solution is the best way to end the bloodshed in Syria, but has said it isn't ruling out any options.

(Reporting by William James and Andrew Osborn; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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