GYMNICH (Informal meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs), Dublin:extracts from the arrivals
Lieu: Dublin, Ireland - Dublin Castle
End production: 22/03/2013 First transmission: 22/03/2013
On 22 March, the European Ministers gathered for the GYMNICH, the Informal meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs in Dublin.
The EU Ministers are expected to discuss whether to start shipping weapons to rebels in Syria. Some Ministers said that the move would only make matters worse.
Britain and France, try to win EU approval for boosting the Syrian opposition's firepower. They hope to edge European colleagues closer to their position during two days of talks at Dublin Castle that started Friday.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says he accepts the "good reasons" behind the Anglo-French position, but that Germany remains reluctant to put more weapons into the hands of disparate forces fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad from power.
Several other foreign ministers back Westerwelle's caution including Ireland, the current EU president.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Guido Westerwelle, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs: We are still reluctant about lifting the arm embargo, we are still reluctant about delivery weapons to Syria because on the one side, we have to help the people, and this is the key of our efforts. But on the second side, it is also important to understand that we have to avoid a controversy. We have to prevent that aggressive weapons go into wrong hands.
||Laurent Fabius, French Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Laurent Fabius shaking hands with Eamon Gilmore T.D. Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs
||SOUNDBITE (in English) William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of UK: I think as the situation stands today in Syria, there is the willingness from UK the lifting embargo on the opposition at the end of May. My French colleague has been speaking about this in a very similar mind.
||William Hague shaking hands with Eamon Gilmore
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration of Luxembourg: Really, we think that with more weapons in Syria the brutality will increase. I hope that we could have a good discussion.
||Carl Bildt, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Eamon Gilmore
||Lithuanian Minister for Foreign affairs
||Ben Knapen, Dutch Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation
||Maroš Šefcovic, EC Vice-President in charge of Interinstitutional Relations and Administration
||Radoslaw Sikorsi, Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs