News24

Syria: All options on the table

2013-01-10 17:02

London - World powers will have to step up their response to the Syrian conflict if the violence worsens, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday, warning that all options were on the table.

He reiterated that Britain would seek to amend the EU weapons embargo on Syria when it comes up for review on 1 March to allow them to arm rebels opposed to President Bashar Assad's regime.

In an update to the House of Commons, Hague said Britain was supporting UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's efforts to end the 21-month-old conflict, and revealed he would visit London for talks later this month.

But the foreign secretary warned: "Given the regime's intransigence and brutality, there is a serious risk that the violence will indeed worsen in the coming months.

"If that happens the international community's response will have to be stepped up.

"So we will not rule out any options to save lives and protect civilians in the absence of a political transition in Syria.

"We will ensure that our efforts are legal, that they're aimed at saving life and they support at all times the objective of a political transition and encouraging moderate political forces in Syria."

Hague repeated that Britain would seek to amend the EU embargo blocking the delivery of weapons to either side in the Syrian conflict.

"No decisions have yet been made to change the support we provide to the Syrian National Coalition or the Syrian people," he said.

"But European countries now have the flexibility to consider taking additional steps to try to save lives if there is no progress in the near future.

"Clearly the best outcome for the Syrian people would be a diplomatic breakthrough, bringing an end to the bloodshed and establishing a new Syrian government able to restore stability.

"However we must keep open options to help save lives in Syria and to assist opposition groups opposed to extremism if the violence continues.

"We should send strong signals to Assad that all options are on the table. We will therefore seek to amend the EU sanctions so that the possibility of additional assistance is not closed off."

Comments
  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-10 17:57

    . The most important weapons the FSA and other opposition needs, is MISILES to blow this assad's air power out of the Syrian skies. Without,the control of the Syrian sky, assad will be gone within weeks !!!

      joy.moloi.3 - 2013-01-10 18:10

      AnthonyfromAfrica: Murder and war is fun to you huh ? You would like to see Syrians blow other Syrians out of the sky ? Fun huh ??? You must get checked before you decide to go to a school and shoot children like the american loonies.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-10 18:25

      Joy, ""You would like to see Syrians blow other Syrians out of the sky ?"" YES, YES and YES !!!! As much of these Syrian airforce terrorists as possible, shot out of the Syrian skies!!!! EVERY air force plane and EVERY airforce helicopter. ONE SHOT AND ONE PLUME OF SMOKE!! GREAT for the Syrian population !!!

      avremel.niselow - 2013-01-10 18:25

      @joy, what a stupid comment, while I do not approve of all that the rebels do, the jets are used to bombard both military and civilian targets. This makes their destruction necessary.

      themba.khumalo.520 - 2013-01-10 18:43

      Regime change @ all costs. The west does not care at all about Syrian civilians; what the US military used to refer to euphemistically as collateral damage in Iraq. There is a much bigger game @ play here, and the welfare of civilian is just a ploy to enable the West to finally checkmate Assad. Atrocities are being committed daily by both warring sides.

  • fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-10 19:33

    Hague is not motivated by a search for peace. He has a regime change agenda for Syria, he will naturally contort facts and situations to align with his goals, rather than the other way round. The Syrian people can be fed to the wolves as far as Hague and his ilk are concerned, so long as Syria is "weakened". When did the likes of Hague care about Arab and Muslim lives. My faith is with the people of Syria. They will find away to move things forward, they don't need the likes Hague.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-11 06:38

      . You are such an unbelievable hypocrite. In 20 months, NOT ONE WORD of condemnation towards this assad ! Where him and his daddy are responsible for the deaths of at the very least,ONE HUNDRED THOUSANS SYRIANS!!! The crime of those murdered??; They wanted a change of government!! Where this MONSTER ; Fires rockets into apartment blocks! Has his terrorist army fire live amunition on women and children from out of helicopters. Drops bombs , including cluster bombs, onto residential areas!!! ""My faith is with the people of Syria"" You make me puke !!!!

      fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-11 08:07

      You shouldn't mistake being against the nations inciting unrest in other countries for their own gain to be necessarily pro the incumbent regime in those countries. Not condemning is not the same as supporting, obviously not. What's so great about condemning? It's meaningless.

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