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Syria slams Britain, France's calls for arming rebels


08:11, March 15, 2013

DAMASCUS, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian government has slammed France and Britain's fresh talks of arming the rebels as " flagrant violation to the principles of the international law," as Russia warned against such move out of fear of the radical rebel groups.

In a terse statement published Thursday, Syria's state-media said the British and French statements about arming the rebels " have come in the framework of the European, Turkish and Gulf states' blatant involvement in the Syrian crisis through overtly speaking about sending money and arms to the terrorist groups that carry out kidnapping and killing as well as targeting the infrastructure of Syria."

The Syrian statement came as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Thursday said that Paris and London will arm the Syrian opposition even if the European Union (EU) refuses to give its unanimous agreement.

In an interview with the local radio France Info, Fabius said the two countries will call on their European partners to speed up lifting the Syrian arms embargo.

The arms embargo is part of a package of EU sanctions on Syria. The EU was scheduled to review the embargo late May.

The armament issue has raised fears and skepticism of human rights campaigners and other international powers such as Russia, whose Foreign Ministry responded by saying that "terrorists" would become the final recipients of arms shipments intended for the Syrian opposition.

On March 6, the AL foreign ministers' meeting invited the Syrian opposition to occupy Syria's AL seat formerly and gave the green light to its member states to provide arms to the Syrian opposition.

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