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Britain and France set to defy Western embargo on arming Syrian rebels

January 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has announced that Paris and London are to ask the EU to re-schedule to an earlier date its foreign ministers’ meeting planned for the middle of May; the agenda will include a review of the arms embargo on Syria. Speaking to France-info Radio, Mr. Fabius insisted that if a consensus on lifting the embargo is not reached, France and Britain will go ahead and arm the Syrian rebels so that they can “defend themselves”.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Tuesday that his government might ignore the embargo that the EU imposes on delivering arms to Syrian rebels if this could help oust President Bashar Al-Assad.

“We must act very quickly”, stressed Fabius. “We cannot accept this current imbalance, with Iran and Russia delivering arms to Bashar while the rebels cannot defend themselves.”

He added that Britain and France believe that lifting the embargo is one of the only ways left to change the situation in Syria politically.

According to the UN, more than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Syria since it erupted exactly two years ago.