Merkel Says Germany Cautious on Easing Syria Weapons Embargo

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would proceed “very cautiously” on calls by the U.K. and France to ease a weapons embargo on Syria to help opposition fighters, while expressing openness to such a plan.

Merkel condemned the regime of Syrian President Bashar al- Assad for committing “repeated bloodbaths” in two years of conflict. She added that European Union states must weigh the fact that weapons are already entering Syria “from other countries that take a different view of Assad.”

“For us, this is a very complicated question to consider, but Germany is ready, if there are other views by other member states, to discuss this again among the foreign ministers,” Merkel told reporters yesterday in Brussels during an EU summit.

France and the U.K. have called on the other 25 EU member states to scrap a European arms embargo on Syria after it expires at the end of May. French President Francois Hollande said yesterday France will arm the opposition after the embargo expiration even if other EU countries support extending it.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Brussels at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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