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May 28, 2013

EU failure will allow UK, France to arm Syrian rebels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain and France are free to supply weapons to Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad from August, after attempts to renew an EU arms embargo on Syria failed on Monday.

After a marathon negotiating session in Brussels, EU governments failed to bridge their differences and let a ban on arming the opposition expire, with France and Britain scoring a victory at the expense of EU unity.

May 27, 2013

EU struggles to end deadlock over Syria arms ban

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain and Austria clashed on Monday over whether the European Union should ease an arms embargo to help Syrian rebels, threatening the unity of the bloc’s Syria policy.

Britain and France are pushing hard for the easing of the arms embargo to support rebels ahead of a peace conference sponsored by the United States and Russia expected next month.

May 26, 2013

EU faces Syria sanctions crunch over push to arm rebels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union may end this week either helping Syrian rebels or the Damascus government they detest, depending on how EU ministers resolve differences over a package of sanctions on Syria that is about to lapse.

At a meeting in Brussels on Monday, the main EU military powers, Britain and France, will argue forcefully for easing some of that embargo to help channel weapons to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad. But Austria, Sweden and several others will defend maintaining the sanctions across the board.

May 22, 2013

Germany backs call to put Hezbollah armed wing on EU terror list

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany will throw its weight behind a British drive to put the armed wing of Hezbollah on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations, German diplomats said on Wednesday.

Britain said on Tuesday it wanted the EU to add Hezbollah’s military wing to its terror list because of evidence that the Iranian-backed militant group was behind a bus bombing in Bulgaria in July that killed five Israelis and their driver.

May 21, 2013

Britain asks EU to put Hezbollah armed wing on terror list

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain said on Tuesday it had asked the European Union to put Hezbollah’s military arm on its list of terrorist organizations, urging Europe to respond robustly to evidence of the Islamist group’s involvement in an attack that killed five Israelis.

Britain’s request came after Bulgaria accused the Lebanese militant movement in February of carrying out a bomb attack on a bus in the Black Sea city of Burgas that killed the Israelis and their Bulgarian driver in July last year.

May 15, 2013

Donors pledge about $4.22 billion to aid Mali recovery

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – International donors pledged 3.25 billion euros ($4.22 billion) on Wednesday to help Mali recover from a conflict with al Qaeda-linked Islamists, exceeding the West African country’s target.

The development drive for Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries, is aimed at halting a resurgence of the rebels driven out of major northern towns by a French-led offensive this year.

May 15, 2013

Donors pledge 3.25 billion euros to aid Mali recovery

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – International donors pledged 3.25 billion euros (2.77 billion pounds) on Wednesday to help Mali recover from a conflict with al Qaeda-linked Islamists, exceeding the West African country’s target.

The development drive for Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries, is aimed at halting a resurgence of the rebels driven out of major northern towns by a French-led offensive this year.

May 15, 2013

France suggests EU link easing Syria arms embargo to peace talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France is floating a proposal that the European Union ease an arms embargo for Syrian rebels but delay acting on the decision to intensify pressure on Damascus to negotiate an end to Syria’s civil war, a French diplomat said on Wednesday.

Sweden, Austria and some other EU member states are resisting efforts by France and Britain to modify the ban to strengthen rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

May 10, 2013

Mali asks donors for two billion euros to rebuild country

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Mali will ask international donors for nearly two billion euros ($2.6 billion) to help rebuild the country and try to halt a resurgence of al Qaeda-linked Islamists who were driven out of the major northern towns by a French-led offensive.

Paris launched a ground and air operation in its former colony in January to break the Islamist rebel hold on the northern two-thirds of the country, saying the militants posed a threat to the security of West Africa and Europe.

May 8, 2013

Britain launches new drive to lift EU arms ban on Syria

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The government has launched a push to have the European Union’s arms embargo on Syrian rebels lifted, saying doing so would strengthen the moderate opposition and ensure the EU could respond to any chemical weapons attack.

EU member states are sharply divided over easing the embargo for the rebels. Negotiations over whether to take such a bold step are expected to run until close to June 1, the expiry date of the existing sanctions against Syria. EU foreign ministers will meet to discuss the issue on May 27.

    • About Adrian

      "I am part of Reuters UK reporting team, writing mainly about UK politics and foreign policy. My previous postings with Reuters were in Spain, Belgium, the United States, Colombia, Nicaragua and South Africa."
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