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WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, agreeing that use of the banned arms cannot be tolerated, the White House said Tuesday.

“The two leaders agreed that the use of chemical weapons is a serious violation of international norms and cannot be tolerated,” it said in a statement. “They pledged to continue to consult closely on possible responses by the international community.”

Obama called Abe Monday evening amid a U.S. diplomatic blitz to gain international and congressional support for U.S. air strikes against the Syrian regime.

Washington has accused the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of carrying out the August 21 attack near Damascus, which U.S. officials say killed nearly 1,500 people, including hundreds of children.

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