EU governments have failed to reach an agreement on easing an arms embargo on Syria to help rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said today.
"I regret that after long talks it was not possible to find a compromise with the UK and France," he said.
EU foreign ministers have been meeting in Brussels to bridge their differences over the issue, with Britain and France pushing to allow European governments to deliver arms.
Discussions are continuing into the evening.
Fears are growing of an arms race in Syria after EU countries agreed they could arm rebels while Russia could give missiles to the regime.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said a "clear message" had been sent to Assad's regime after the EU decided to lift the Syrian arms embargo.