EU at Variance over Syria Settlement

Local Editor
It’s clear that the European Union countries don’t have the same stance regarding solving the ongoing crisis in Syria.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told the international envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, who is tasked with findiBrahiming a solution to conflict, that “we need to stop the killing, we need to stop the violence.”

EU foreign ministers went into talks Monday with Brahimi. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss “a transition to a different Syria”, Ashton said.

As Ashton wants an end to the conflict, there are wide differences within the 27-nation bloc on how to solve the crisis.

Britain, and possibly France and Italy, are tipping in favor of military aid for the opposition, while Germany, Sweden and others say that is too risky.

“There has to be a political solution, there is no military solution,” said Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt as he went into the talks.

“The search for a military solution will risk the devastation of the region, I think,” Bildt added.
British counterpart William Hague said that in the absence of a political solution “we should also continue to increase our support for the opposition.”

Hague said “we are taking full advantage of the change” to send equipment such as body armor and armored vehicles and advice and assistance “so as to save lives in Syria.”

For his part, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had another suggestion on arriving for the talks. He said the EU might consider easing sanctions, against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, “to help the opposition to rebuild the regions which they having under control”, notably in the north and part of the east.

Source: AFP
11-03-2013 – 17:58 Last updated 11-03-2013 – 17:58

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