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No arms to Syria opposition: France

France,Defence/Security, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 IANS

Paris, April 20 (IANS/RIA Novosti) France has no intention to supply arms to the Syrian opposition and is ready to discuss the UN and Arab League's peace plan, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has said.


"I am convinced that if there are several hundred observers in Syria who are able to move about the country freely, the situation may change," he said.


"If the mission fails we will discuss further action. So far we are not considering the question of arms supplies," said Juppe.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned reporters against one-sided, simplified coverage of the situation in Syria.


"Do not pretend that everything depends on Russia, which is supposed to have influence on (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad. That is unworthy of politicians as well as of journalists.


"The situation depends on those who have influence over opposition groups. This includes the United States, France, Britain, Turkey and Persian Gulf states," he said.


Lavrov urged all countries supporting UN special envoy Kofi Annan's plan to work towards ensuring its success.


Lavrov criticised attempts by some countries to "privatize" internationally-backed efforts to end the more than a year long crisis in Syria. The statement came after a meeting on Syria held by a group of Arab League states in Qatar, some of whose participants raised doubts over the Syrian government's commitment to the Annan peace plan.


More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against Assad last March, according to UN estimates.


--IANS/RIA Novosti




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