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Anglo-French arms industry forces EU to lift official embargo on sending Weapons of Mass Destruction to Al Qaeda in Syria

Ian Traynor
The Guardian
Tue, 28 May 2013 05:07 CDT

Europe's sanctions regime against Syria was plunged into uncertainty after Britain, backed by France, forced a lifting of the EU arms embargo on what it identifies as the moderate opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

Britain claimed victory in a long day of acrimonious negotiations, winning an easing of the arms embargo. The vast majority of EU states opposed the shift, but assented in order to preserve a semblance of unified policy.

A meeting of EU foreign ministers descended into recrimination with a vast majority against lifting the arms embargo, but William Hague, the foreign secretary, blocked a compromise deal. Austria, the biggest opponent of the British aim, reacted bitterly, stating that the EU negotiations had collapsed and that the Europe-wide sanctions regime would collapse at midnight on Friday.

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and in response....

to the FAILURE of the EU to support the arms sanctions and now ALLOW arms exports into the Al Qaeda led rebels...

Russia calls delivery of missiles a stabilizing factor

The failure of the European Union to agree on a new arms embargo for Syria is undermining the peace process, Moscow says. But the delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles may help restrain warmongers.

The comments come from Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, referring to the results of Monday’s meeting in Brussels. After a lengthy negotiating session, EU governments failed to resolve their differences and allowed a ban on arming the Syrian opposition to expire, with France and Britain scoring an apparent victory at the expense of EU unity.