BRUSSELS: Belgium, which joined military action in Libya and in Mali, is "not yet convinced" of the merits of intervening in Syria and wants proof that Damascus used chemical weapons against its people.
"I am not yet convinced. What we want is to receive information showing the use of these arms," Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Wednesday in an interview on state broadcaster RTBF.
Belgium hopes for such information from the United Nations, "but should France, the United States and Britain have information on this subject, they could share it with their NATO allies," he said.
While condemning the use of chemical arms as "odious", Reynders highlighted the risks of a military riposte.
"What would be the consequences in Syria and in the region? What would be the consequences of acting without the consent of the U.N. Security Council? For tomorrow Russia too could decide to intervene without consent if others do," he said.
He spoke as Britain pushed for a U.N. resolution to pave the way for military strikes over suspected chemical attacks despite stern warnings against intervention from key Damascus supporters Russia and Iran.
Earlier Wednesday, former Belgian premier and leader of the liberal group in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, called for an emergency meeting on Syria of European Union foreign ministers.
But a spokesman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said that "at this stage" the next meeting of the ministers is still set for September 6 and 7 in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.
While Britain and France appear ready to intervene militarily against the Syrian regime following last week's apparent chemical weapons attack, Germany, Italy and Poland appear reticent.