EU Ends Arms Embargo on Syrian Rebels

But no immediate plans to send arms

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 27, 2013 5:36 PM CDT

(Newser) – British Foreign Secretary William Hague says the European Union has decided to lift the arms embargo on the Syrian opposition while maintaining all other sanctions against Bashar Assad's regime after June 1. Hague said after a meeting today that the decision "sends a very strong message from Europe to the Assad regime."

The all-day meeting laid bare EU hesitation on feeding arms in a foreign conflict only months after it won the Nobel Peace Prize. Hague insisted that Britain had "no immediate plans to send arms to Syria. It gives us flexibility to respond in the future if the situation continues to deteriorate."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, left, talks with Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, during the EU foreign ministers meeting, at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, May...   (Yves Logghe)
Syrian forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad take their position during a clashes against Syrian rebels.   (HOPD)
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