Latest News Syria: European Union’s arms industry


Oxfam reaction to EU failure to extend arms embargo on Syria beyond August

28th May 2013

EU Foreign Ministers failed last night to extend the EU arms embargo on Syria as it stands. They

decided, however, not to lift it before August 1st and set a number of conditions.

In reaction, Oxfam’s Head of Arms Control, Anna Macdonald, said:

“Oxfam is disappointed that the EU will not extend its arms embargo on Syria as it stands. Ministers sent out mixed signals. What was needed was an unequivocal stance that the EU will do everything it can to stop the bloodshed and prevent a deadly arms race in Syria, which would have devastating humanitarian consequences.”

“We welcome the EU’s willingness to prioritise the pursuit of a political solution and its strong commitment for human rights and international humanitarian law. However, European governments should be using their influence to secure a halt to international arms transfers from all governments to any warring party in Syria.”

“This decision does not give the green light to any member states who want to supply arms to groups in Syria. As clearly laid out in the EU Common Position on Arms Transfers, any transfers must be subject to full risk assessment procedures against the risks of arms being used for violations of human rights and humanitarian law.”

Oxfam has been advocating to bring the arms trade under control for more than a decade and played a crucial role in the campaign to secure a robust Arms Trade Treaty. Under the new treaty – which was passed by majority vote at the UN in April this year and opens for signature next week on June 3 – arms transfers must not be authorised where there is a major risk the weapons will be used to commit violations of human rights or international humanitarian law. Both European countries and all other 156 states that voted in favour of this landmark treaty need to live up to its principles.

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3 Reacties to “Latest News Syria: European Union’s arms industry”

  1. kruitvat Says:

    The Arms Trade is Big Business

  2. kruitvat Says:

  3. kruitvat Says:

    European Council on Foreign Affairs

    ‘Syria: towards a political solution’…

    … ‘The prospect of arming the opposition raises
    concerns inside and outside the country. Channelling
    weapons into the country would likely set the scene for an
    even deeper and long-lasting civil conflict with very uncertain
    regional consequences (particularly given the indeterminate
    nature of many of the country’s armed groups). Though
    unarmed civilians continue to bear the devastating brunt of
    the crackdown, expanding and supporting armed resistance
    would invite even wider violence. Moreover, unless
    foreign backers were prepared to provide artillery and air
    capabilities, arming the opposition is unlikely to change
    the balance of power. It is more likely that arming the
    opposition may further empower the regime by discrediting
    the opposition among Syrians still on the fence, while also
    providing justification to the regime (and its international
    backers) to continue using violence. Finally, air strikes
    remain deeply problematic because of both Syria’s strong
    Russian-supplied air defence systems and the complexity of
    a battle that is largely unfolding in urban environments.
    All of these options, though opening the possibility of an
    eventual rebel victory, do so by enabling a wider militarisation
    of the conflict that is likely to be long and painful for much of
    the country’s population…’

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