Syria fork: Cameron says no decision yet to arm rebels, as Putin defends govt arms supplies

Russia and UK still have very different approaches to the Syrian crisis,British PM Cameron said after meeting Putin adding that the decision to arm rebels is yet to be made.Russia’s President stressed that Moscow arms supply to Damascus are totally legal

“Russia supplies arms to the official government of Syria in
accordance with
international laws,” said
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during the meeting at 10
Downing Street.

He stressed that “the blood is on the hands
of both parties”
of the conflict, not only Bashar Assad’s
government but also the rebels.

“I think you will not deny that one does not really need to
support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up
their bodies, eat their intestines, in front of the public and
cameras,”
Putin said referring to a video footage on the
Internet of a rebel fighter eating a heart of a government
soldier.

“Is it them who you want to supply with weapons?” he said
adding that it does not correspond with international
humanitarian norms.

Syrian army soldiers standing on an army tank in the village of Buweida, north of Qusayr, in Syria's central Homs province (AFP Photo / Str)

The comments came as the two leaders met ahead of the G8 summit
scheduled to start on Monday in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.

The President and Prime minister discussed a broad range of
questions including security on Winter Olympics in
Russia’s resort city Sochi, however the civil war in
Syria was the main focus with questions after the
press-conference concentrating on this topic.

PM Cameron, unlike Putin, laid the total responsibility for the
two-year Syrian crisis on President Bashar Assad.

“The responsibility lies with Assad and the onslaught that he
created with his people,”
the PM said. The
“new evidence makes that clearer than ever,” he added
referring to the US claims of finding proof that the Syrian
government had used chemical weapons against the rebels.

The findings were disclosed on Thursday and assessment results
were handed to the Russian Foreign Ministry which found
them “unconvincing”.

The press conference once again showed wide differences between
Moscow’s and London’s approaches to the situation in Syria —
something Cameron admitted straight away. Despite this, leaders
said that the countries have a common goal and the desire to
provide conditions of a diplomatic settlement of the ongoing
Syrian conflict.

“There is common ground in that we both see a humanitarian
catastrophe”,
Cameron said.

Russia’s President agreed that “eventually we will solve the
problem and put all parties at the negotiating table with joint
efforts.”

“This is one of the most appropriate solutions to the problem,
and it can be solved only through political and diplomatic
means,”
Putin said.

This article originally appeared on: RT