13 March 2013, 01:59

David Cameron may veto EU arms embargo on Syria

David Cameron may veto EU arms embargo on Syria

Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday that Britain may consider vetoing an extension of the European Union's arms embargo on Syria if the situation does not improve there.

The EU has a blanket embargo against shipping arms to Syria, though last month Britain persuaded the EU to soften the embargo and allow member states to provide non-lethal aid, such as armored vehicles, to the rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Both Britain and France support lifting the embargo further to allow weapons into Syria. The current EU embargo expires in May.

Western countries have been rethinking their stance on helping the rebels as Assad's support erodes.

Cameron said Tuesday that "it's not out of the question we might have to do things in our own way," should Britain fail to persuade other EU members to allow weapons to be sent to the rebels.

UN slams UK's bid to arm Syrian opposition

Britain’s readiness to deliver arms to the Syrian opposition runs contrary to the position of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, an official UN representative said on Tuesday.

Speaking in parliament on Tuesday British Prime Minister David Cameron said London might consider “different options” if it failed to persuade the EU to lift a standing ban on arms shipments to Syria’s opposition groups.

Mr.Cameron’s statement echoed a similar call earlier made by France.

According to UN figures, an estimated 70,000 people have died since the start of the armed conflict in Syria in March 2011. The Syrian authorities say they are dealing with well-armed militants receiving all necessary support from abroad, RIA Novosti reports.

Voice of Russia, AP, RIA

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