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They have struggled at the G20 to speak with a common voice on Syria, now EU foreign ministers meeting in Lithuania are facing the same dilemma.
Cyprus is across the water from Syria and its foreign minister fears retaliation if there is a military strike.
“Cyprus and the British bases will not be used as a launching pad for any military operations,” said Ioannis Kasoulides, who is in Vilnius for the meeting.
For Sweden, the UN probe into Syria’s alleged chemical attacks must be taken into account.
“We are still awaiting the report of the UN inspectors which I think is important. The Indians, the Chinese, the Brazilians and others don’t think the information from the US intelligence services is enough,” said Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was keen to stress that efforts were continuing to try and find a solution to the conflict.
“There’s so much energy that goes on every single day to try and reach out to those who can come together and try and stop the terrible killing, the terrible plight of people in Syria,” she said.
“I always think especially of the children displaced, injured, killed and orphaned who suffer terribly in this terrible situation.”
Ministers will also meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Lithuania, as President Obama continues to pile on the pressure for military action against Damascus.