British PM David Cameron has dismissed UN’s report indicating rebels in Syria had used chemical weapons. RT sits down with Middle East expert Afshin Rattansi to discuss Cameron’s statement and UK’s role in Syrian crisis.
Cameron’s claims came on the eve of his trip to the capital of
the 2014 Winter Games – Sochi, where he was in talks with President
Vladimir Putin. RT contributor Afshin Rattansi, who also thinks
that Britain has been backing chemical weapon use in the Middle
East, expressed the hope that the Russian leader would at least try
to have London reconsider its support for the Syrian insurgency, as
Washington and Moscow earlier agreed to join their efforts in
mediating peace in Syria.
RT:How does the UK hope to benefit from contradicting
the findings of the UN committee that found evidence of Syrian
rebels using chemical weapons?
Afshin Rattansi: It’s especially outrageous of the British PM to just dismiss Colonel Ponti and the commission’s view
into who was using chemical weapons and when in the Syrian
conflict. The fact that David Cameron can do this shows him
completely out of step. After all it was him, who’s been trying to
lift the arms embargo for the rebels and never considered any idea
of talk process, a kind of process that was aside from all the
fighting and killing and slaughter. And yet John Kerry and Vladimir
Putin seem to have come to an agreement, that: yes of course – they
have to talk instead of all these killings.
RT:What would be the consequences for the region if
the UK’s proposals are accepted and the EU removes the weapons
embargo on Syria?
AR:David Cameron has been being very quick to just
refute everything in the report without any prior information. As
to the arms embargo, France’s FM Laurence Fabius is also saying
that the embargo should be lifted, but also that Al-Nusra should be
considered a terrorist organization by the EU, which of course it
is now considered in the United States. And at the same time the
very rebels, that are being sent the so-called non-lethal force and
equipment and materials – they are defecting to Al-Nusra, according
to a report in British papers. If Britain has been exporting, say,
night-vision goggles to the Syrian rebels and they used them in the
sarin gas attack, as indicated by Colonel Ponti’s report, does that
mean Britain has been backing the chemical weapon use in the Middle
RT:US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that any
political solution to the unrest in Syria must involve President
Bashar Assad stepping down. Would