DUBLIN (Reuters) – France and Britain failed to persuade the European Union to back their call to lift an arms embargo on Syrian rebels on Friday despite warning that President Bashar al-Assad could resort to using chemical weapons.
Paris and London want to exempt Assad’s opponents from an EU arms embargo, a step they believe would raise pressure on Assad to negotiate after two years of a civil war that has claimed 70,000 lives.
DUBLIN (Reuters) – France and Britain stepped up their drive on Friday for the European Union to lift its arms embargo to help Syrian rebels, but ran into strong opposition from other member countries who said sending more weapons could worsen the crisis.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said as he arrived for an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Dublin that there was a “very strong case” for lifting or seriously amending the ban on sending weapons to the opposition when EU sanctions on Syria come up for renewal on June 1.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The chief executive of European aerospace firm EADS (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), predicted more shake-ups in the defense industry on Thursday as he painted a gloomy outlook for the sector both domestically and in export markets.
“I think there will be more consolidation happening, but we had one prominent example last year where industry tried to provide some meaningful consolidation and politics interfered,” CEO Tom Enders said, speaking at the European Defence Agency’s annual conference.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The head of NATO said on Monday it was “absolutely ridiculous” for Afghan President Hamid Karzai to accuse the United States of colluding with the Taliban and said Kabul should recognize sacrifices made by other countries on Afghanistan’s behalf.
Karzai marred a debut visit to Afghanistan by the new U.S. defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, on March 10 by accusing Washington and the Taliban of colluding to convince Afghans that foreign forces were needed beyond 2014, when NATO is set to wrap up its combat mission and most foreign troops are to withdraw.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s foreign policy chief urged caution on Saturday about a Franco-British drive to lift an EU arms embargo to help rebels in Syria, questioning the impact such a step might have on attempts to reach a political settlement there.
Other EU governments rebuffed efforts by Paris and London at an EU summit on Friday to lift the Syrian arms embargo to help opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, although they asked foreign ministers to discuss it again next week.
BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) – France will urge other European Union governments at a summit on Thursday to lift an embargo on supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition, President Francois Hollande said, saying Europe could not allow the Syrian people to be massacred.
Hollande justified his call to increase European help to the Syrian opposition after a two-year uprising against President Bashar al-Assad by saying that weapons were being delivered to Assad’s government, particularly by Russia.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France urged the European Union to look again at lifting an arms embargo on Syria to help rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, putting it at odds with Germany which said such a step could spread conflict in the region.
Highlighting the different approaches of two of the European Union’s heavyweights, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday said lifting the arms embargo would help level the playing field in the two-year-old conflict in which 70,000 people have died.
BRUSSELS, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Nuclear talks between Iran and
world powers this week were more constructive and positive than
in the past, but Iran’s willingness to negotiate seriously will
not become clear until an April meeting, a senior Western
diplomat said on Thursday.
The diplomat was more upbeat about the talks in Kazakhstan
than other Western officials have been, suggesting there could
be a chance of diplomatic progress in the long standoff over
Iran’s nuclear activities.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Nuclear talks between Iran and world powers this week were more constructive and positive than in the past, but Iran’s willingness to negotiate seriously will not become clear until an April meeting, a senior Western diplomat said on Thursday.
The diplomat was more upbeat about the talks in Kazakhstan than other Western officials have been, suggesting there could be a chance of diplomatic progress in the long standoff over Iran’s nuclear activities.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU leaders on Monday gave visiting Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich until May to show his nation had made progress towards political reform if it is serious about clinching a free trade deal which would move it away from Moscow’s orbit.
Both the European Union and Ukraine are keen to cut their dependency on gas giant Russia, but Ukraine has yet to make a clear choice between closer EU ties or tighter links with Moscow.