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Hague warns Assad to 'obey peace plan' or 'other countries will arm rebel movement'

Damascus, Mon, 02 Apr 2012 ANI

Damascus, Apr 2 (ANI): British Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to honour the new peace plan or else other countries would arm the rebel movement.

Hague said the "reality" was that some governments, although not Britain's, would supply weapons to Assad's enemies if this "best hope" for peace failed.

He stressed that Britain is bound by a European Union arms embargo on Syria and will only supply non-lethal equipment, but other countries have a different position, The Telegraph reports.

"What some countries are saying is 'if the Annan process does not work, we are going to have to look at arming the opposition. At least, that's how I understand their position and that's what I think the reality is," the paper quoted Hague, as saying.

"The Assad regime must engage properly with that process and implement the six-point plan because the calls by other countries - not by the UK - for arming the opposition will intensify if they don't do so," Hague added.

According to the report, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Assad's leading Arab critics, have publicly favoured arming the opposition.

They joined 82 countries and international organisations in Istanbul for the second meeting of the 'Friends of Syria' group.

The aim of the gathering was to escalate the pressure on Assad and rally support for a six-point peace plan devised by Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general. (ANI)

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