Minister to get free hand in EU Syria arms embargo debate

Foreign minister Frans Timmermans is likely to get a free hand from parliament in deciding whether or not to support ending the weapons embargo against Syria, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

France and Britain want to begin arming the rebels and European ministers will discuss the issue this weekend, the paper says.

VVD parliamentarian Han ten Broeke said during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday the minister should be given the room to deal with the ‘new reality’.


At the same time, Labour’s Desiree Bonis says France and Britain’s arguments in favour of giving up the EU embargo ‘should be listened to very carefully’.

Nevertheless, both parties would ideally like the embargo to be extended, the paper said.

Timmermans has said he fears ending the embargo would lead to an escalation in the fighting and that weapons would end up in the wrong hands.

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