London and Paris want the weapons embargo put in place by the EU to be lifted for rebels in Syria so the groups can properly defend themselves. Francois Hollande, the President of France called on leaders in Europe to lift the embargo on Syria so rebel groups in the country can be helped in fighting the Syrian government controlled by President Bashar al-Assad.
The issue was discussed at the EU summit on Friday in Brussels. Hollande said that political solutions have not resolved the conflict in Syria therefore more must be done because for the last two years it has become clear the current president of Syria will use all the means he has to kill his own people.
One official from London said that the current efforts made by Europeans had failed and the tactics needed to be changed to alter the advantage al-Assad has on the ground.
However, many countries in the EU are not in support of dropping the weapons ban. Angela Merkel the German Chancellor said the Union needed to be very cautious about lifting the arms embargo.
Werner Faymann the Chancellor of Austria said he and his country were not ready to lift the embargo. He said they were against lifting the ban and that an arms delivery to the rebels is not a way helping to bring about a solution.
The Syrian regime was angered by the announcement from France and Britain about lifting the arms embargo. The opposition however gave the announcement a guarded welcome. The opposition called upon the French and British to provide much needed heavy weaponry not only small arms.