Syria: European Union wants political solution with arms trade

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Moscow Strongly Criticizes EU Decision to Lift Embargo on Weapon Export to Gunmen

May 28, 2013

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the EU decision to extend sanctions on Syria and lift the embargo on the weapons sent to the Syrian opposition could push the conflict in Syria to more of armed confrontations.

“At this complicated and important stage related to the implementation of the Russian-US initiative, it is very important to abstain from any measures or statements which would be misunderstood by the Syrian sides,” Alexander Lukashevich, Spokesman of the Russian foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

He added “we can’t understand the logic of the EU decision to expand the economic siege against the Syrian people for an extra 12-month, while excluding the weapons sent to the Syrian opposition.”

Gatilov: EU Decision Won’t Find Positive Basis for Conference

In a relevant context, The Ministry called on all foreign active sides, including the EU to enjoy the spirit of responsibility and prevent from taking steps that might complicate launching dialogue between the government and opposition in Syria.

“The EU decision to lift the siege on exporting weapons to the Syrian insurgents won’t really create a positive basis for the efforts exerted to organize an international conference on Syria,” Gennady Gatilov, Deputy Foreign Minister said in a press statement.

Russian President Advisor: the Decision Wouldn’t Contribute to Preparing for the Conference

Meanwhile, Media Advisor to the Russian President Dmitry Peskov affirmed that the EU decision won’t contribute to preparing for the international conference on Syria due to be held in Geneva next month.

“Such steps and other similar ones like the latest visit of the US Senator John McCain the border regions wouldn’t contribute in any case to preparing for the international conference for which a lot of sides seek to fulfill,” Peskov said in a statement from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.

He added that such behavior couldn’t be understood. 

Ryabkov: Main Obstacles Facing Int’l  Conference is the Syrian Opposition’s Disunity

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov expressed his country’s disappointment over the decision of the European Union to lift the embargo imposed on sending weapons to Syria, stressing that this decision will negatively affect the international conference on Syria.

At a press conference today, Ryabkov added that this decision opposes the policies of the EU itself and does not help in reaching a political settlement, highlighting that this decision violates the international arms trade treaty.

He said that no one can blame Russia for sending weapons to Syria, adding that these weapons are bound to the legal authorities in the country.

“Russia considers the EU decision to lift the embargo on sending weapons to the armed opposition as wrong,” said Ryabkov, stressing that it is not acceptable to seek an end of violence in Syria on the one hand and follow the path of escalating the issue of weapons flow to the country on the other hand.

The Russian official pointed out that the basic issue that hinders the international conference on Syria is the disunity of the “Syrian opposition” and its inability to dispatch high-level representatives to the conference.

He added that “The Syrian government is resolved to send a delegation with full powers to hold negotiations at this potential conference…The Opposition should also name its representatives that are entitled to participate.”

He considered that Russia and the US have not yet been able to bring close their positions on holding “Geneva 2” conference, saying that “Moscow does not accept holding this conference at the time when some potential participants are trying to impose external solutions on the Syrian people.”

“We can’t say that a thorough understanding has been formed on the part of the Americans on the fact that there is no alternative to working with the opposition forces in Syria to have the Syrian opposition groups send a high-level delegation that can make decisions at this conference,” said Ryabkov, stressing the importance of inviting Iran to the conference.

Ryabkov said that sending Russian S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Syria constitutes “a stability factor” that prevents having foreign forces interfering in the “conflict”.

Such steps, Ryabkov added, contributes to “deterring some “hotheads” in studying the scenario of internationalizing the conflict with the participation of the foreign powers which don’t oppose this idea,” stressing that Russia does not intend to reconsider its position in this regard.

He reminded that the sending S-300 anti-aircraft systems is being carried out according to a contract that was signed between Syria and Russia five years ago.

English Bulletin

http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/05/28/484528.htm

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3 Reacties to “Syria: European Union wants political solution with arms trade”

  1. kruitvat Says:

    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.

    http://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2013/05/reaction-to-lifting-eu-arms-embargo-on-syria

  2. kruitvat Says:

    Russia decided to arm Syria now with anti-aircraft missiles to prevent some hotheads from intervening in the conflict.

  3. kruitvat Says:

    U.S. wants a ‘peaceful solution’ for Syria…

    —-

    News from the American media:

    US senator John McCain, one of the strongest advocates of US military aid for the Syrian opposition, has crossed into Syria to meet with rebel leaders.

    Mr McCain’s visit came as British foreign secretary William Hague announced that the European Union (EU) has agreed to lift an arms embargo in order to be able to supply weapons to the rebels.

    The visit by the 2008 Republican presidential nominee followed an overwhelming US senate panel vote last week to send weapons to forces fighting against the Syrian government.

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