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EU countries deny resuming discussion on arms supply to Syrian rebels until August ends

August 02, 2013, 12:05 UTC+3
The EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels on May 28 failed negotiations on reconsidering the embargo regime on arms deliveries to Syria
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

BRUSSELS, August 2 (Itar-Tass) - The issue of arms supplies to Syrian rebels is not on the European Union’s agenda, an EU diplomatic source told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“Twenty-eight countries of the community do not plan to return to the discussion of the problem of arms deliveries to the opposition forces in Syria in the foreseeable future, at least - before the end of August,” the diplomat said.

The EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels on May 28 failed negotiations on reconsidering the embargo regime on arms deliveries to Syria. They failed to reach a compromise either on its lifting or on its extension or change. The term of the embargo expired on June 1. From that moment all countries of the community got the right to independently make decisions on the supply of arms to Syria.

The final statement of the EU Council, adopted on May 28, contained a clause that the foreign ministers would return to the issue of arms deliveries by August 1. However, this has not happened, and the Council at its meetings on June 24 and July 22 even did not raise this issue.

As for the European Union countries themselves, the overwhelming majority of them unequivocally stated that they would not supply arms to the Syrian conflict zone. This stance was taken by Austria, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Latvia and a number of other states.

The supporters of lifting the embargo - France and Great Britain, have never ventured to begin arms deliveries to Syrian rebels. These countries fear that the arms can get not into the hands of the “moderate, democratic opposition” groups, but into the hands of Islamic militants.

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