– Francois Hollande, French President
We are fighting terrorism around the world. We have been helping the opposition in Syria and want to go further. We trust the opposition - we do not want Syria to become another Libya.
– Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
It is an extremely difficult situation. We have a whole series of reservations regarding weapons exports to the opposition. We have to ask ourselves whether we are not further fuelling the conflict by doing that.
David Cameron says there are strong arguments for a change of tactics in Syria. The Prime Minister says there's a good understanding of that from other EU leaders.
European Union leaders have asked Foreign Ministers to assess an arms embargo on Syria during a meeting next Friday.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said:
"We agreed to task our foreign ministers to assess the situation as a matter of priority, already at their informal meeting next week in Dublin, and to develop common positions."
Today both Britain and France urged the rest of the EU to lift an embargo on supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition.
David Cameron says political progress is more likely in Syria if people can see the country's opposition is a credible and growing force.
The Prime Minister dismissed suggestions that if European governments began arming the opposition then weapons would end up in the hands of the wrong people. He said it was important for countries like Britain and France to work with other allies to help the opposition.
– David Cameron
In the end this is not about process, this is about really working out everything we can do to help achieve a transition at the top in Syria but also to help shape and work with the Syrian opposition which we now properly and rightfully recognise.
Even though Syria is not officially on the agenda, Britain and France may raise the issue on the second anniversary of the uprising. France and Britain want to supply arms to the rebels.
A Downing Street official said: "There is a perversity about the EU arms embargo... it is backfiring."
The embargo does not stop those aiding Assad, but it does stop those who want to help the opposition.
– Downing Street official
We are not considering going ahead (with arming the rebels) while the current arms embargo is in place. What we want is to start the discussion about changing the arms embargo.
On the second anniversary of the start of the Syrian uprising, the pair will urge summit members in Brussels, to bring forward the end-of-May date for reviewing the existing arms embargo against Syria.
Currently, the embargo only allows for "non-lethal" military support.
Mr Cameron and Mr Hollande decided to make the arms embargo a priority over the scheduled discussion on the economic crisis.