The European Union's arms embargo is "backfiring", a Downing Street official said today, after French President Francois Hollande and David Cameron held one-to-one talks on arming Syrian rebels. The 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.
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.
David Cameron and Francois Hollande have failed to convince other EU leaders to overturn Europe’s ban on arming Syrian rebels.
The UK and France have forced an EU discussion on Syria to try and change the arms embargo.