Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 425
Publish Date: 10:37 - 09 March 2013
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu هin a speach at London School of Economics stressed that Syrian rebel were inadequately armed and they were at a disadvantage.
Turkis FM. called for a European Union arms embargo to be lifted.

In some of his strongest comments on the subject so far, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said he had discussed the embargo barring delivery of all arms to Syria with Britain and Germany.

"If there was international support ... or a common stance against certain war crimes, I don't think there would be a need for arming the rebels," Davutoğlu told reporters during a visit to Britain, saying he thought such pressure would topple Assad.

But the minister said he had discussed the status of the embargo with British Foreign Secretary William Hague as well as with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who has publicly defended the embargo.

When asked to say if he favoured lifting the embargo, Davutoğlu said: "If one side only has weapons at the end of the day the side which has weapons in their hands have all the opportunities to kill the other side."

Likening the Syrian conflict to the 1992-95 Bosnian war, he suggested the world should not repeat the same mistakes it made then.

"In Bosnia they were looking for weapons from anyone to defend their homes. Now the same thing is happening in Syria," he said. "For three years, we have the green light to Milosevic, Mladic and Karadzic to continue killing people."

An EU embargo prevents weapons being supplied to Syria's rebels, but sanctions have been amended in recent weeks to allow more non-lethal equipment, prompting Britain to expand the scale and scope of its aid to the Syrian opposition.

One of the issues which has made many countries wary of lifting the embargo is the presence of Islamist fighters among the Syrian opposition and a perception that radical Islamist influence is on the rise within their ranks.

But Davutoğlu played down those fears, saying neither Libya nor Egypt had embraced radical Islam despite predictions to the contrary.

"They are at war," he said of the Syrian anti-government fighters. "They are going to die. There are always religious slogans in war."

* Hurriyet Daily News

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