PH sends senior diplomat to Syria amid planned US attack

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The Philippines aims to speed up repatriation of up to 3,000 remaining Filipinos there

MANILA, Philippines – Facing reported plans of a US strike, a senior Philippine diplomat has flown to Syria to oversee the repatriation of up to 3,000 remaining Filipinos there, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday, August 30.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario sent his undersecretary, Rafael Seguis, to the strife-torn country last Tuesday, August 27, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported.

Del Rosario tasked him “to get the Syrian government’s assurance that it will continue to support our repatriation program,” the PNA said, quoting a text message from DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez on Friday.

Hernandez also said: “There has been no let-up in our repatriation program in Syria.”

US President Barack Obama met top national security aides Friday, with a window about to open for possible US strikes to punish Syria over a chemical weapons attack that killed 1,300 civilians. 

Obama was meeting his National Security Council at the White House, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

French President Francois Hollande on Friday, August 30, gave a boost to US hopes of forging an international coalition for possible strikes against Syria after British lawmakers rejected any involvement in military action.  – with reports from Agence France-Presse/

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