France's Francois Hollande backs Syria weapons plan

  • French President Francois Hollande said on Friday he backed plans to supply arms to Syria's rebels, as activists mark two years since the start of the anti-government uprising.

    Following a European Union meeting, Hollande said the rebels had made assurance that weapons would not fall into the wrong hands.

    France and the UK want the EU to lift its 2011 arms embargo but Germany is yet to decide if it agrees.

    Russia remains an ally of President Bashar al-Assad's government and is against arming the rebels.

    The Syrian government classifies all of the rebels as "armed gangs" or foreign-backed "terrorists".

    EU foreign ministers are expected to focus on the arms embargo again in Dublin on March 22-23.

    Around 70,000 people have been killed with a further one million estimated to have fled Syria.

    The unrest began on March 15, 2011 and rebels now control large swathes of Syria.

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