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Canada backs US decision to start arms supplies to Syrian opposition

June 17, 2013, 12:06 UTC+3
The United States seeks that the Syrian opposition will be able to counter the government on equal conditions, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said
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OTTAWA, June 17 (Itar-Tass) - Canada supports the U.S. decision to start weapons supplies to the Syrian opposition, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said.

The United States seeks that the Syrian opposition will be able to counter the government on equal conditions. This fact will allow both parties to start talks in Geneva, Baird told CTV on June 16.

A month ago Canada came against arms supplies to the Syrian opposition. It said the number of radical extremists grew. Baird said the only way to stop the conflict in Syria was to settle all disagreements by political means. Weapons supplies can only aggravate the situation, the Canadian foreign minister said.

On May 7, he told parliamentarians that the more weapons would be supplies to Syria the severer reaction will be.

The minister declined to answer the question if Baird’s statements meant that Canada’s position on this issue changed. The foreign minister said he is hopeful that the United States would take a rather selective approach towards improving relations with the opposition groups in Syria.

On Friday, June 14, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who made a European tour, said he was convinced that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against the opposition.

Baird said Canada agreed with Washington’s proposal to collect information on Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

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