Mr Hague, who had called for the restrictions on weapons to be relaxed, said the EU's decision was the "right" one but added that "no immediate decision" would be made on sending arms to rebels.
After more than 12 hours of talks in Brussels last night, the Foreign Secretary insisted that the Government's focus remained on a "political transition" in Syria.
The Foreign Affairs Council declaration issued after the meeting said member states such as the UK who wished to supply arms would have to ensure "adequate safeguards against misuse" including "relevant information concerning the end-user and final destination of the delivery".
No arms shipments can take place yet but the Council will review its position before August 1.
But former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell, a member of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said the decision was "gesture politics on a grand scale" that "we may live to regret".