EU fails to reach decision on arming Syrian rebels

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EU fails to reach decision on arming Syrian rebels

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European Union leaders had said the arms embargo imposed on the Syrian opposition will be allowed to expire on Saturday.

However, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said no decision on whether or not to arm Syrian rebels will be taken before August and all other sanctions remain in place.

Unity was thin on the ground as ministers toiled for 12 hours and failed to reach the unanimous decision required to extend the current arms embargo.

Romania is dead set against arming Syria according to Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean: “Romania has no interest in supplying weapons to Syria. We side with those who want a political and diplomatic solution to the problem and we encourage negotiation.”

Moscow believes the move will harm the prospects of an international peace conference, which the Russians, along with the US, are trying to schedule before August.

Louay Safi from the Syrian National Council backs the move, but fears the killing will continue: “We welcome this step. We think it is a positive move, but we are afraid the delay in lifting the embargo will have negative effects on stopping the aggression and killing.”

The EU embargo applies to both the Syrian government and the opposition.