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article imageBritain remains divided on issue of arming the Syrian rebels

By Paul Iddon     Jun 16, 2013 in Politics
Deputy British Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the conflict in Syria is a civil war and believes that point needs to be stressed. He doesn't believe that Britons think it is the right thing to do.
The Jerusalem Post writes that Mr. Clegg, who is leader of the Liberal Democrats which in turn is part of the present government coalition, was quoted as saying that, "At this point we're not providing arms. If we wanted to, we would do it. We clearly don't think it is the right thing to do now or else we would have decided to do it."
He went on to state that, "Such a move would not be acceptable to the British people."
The Telegraph also reports that Mr. Clegg has said he does not want his country to "get embroiled in a military conflict."
He outlined his views on the entire conflict and geopolitics relating to it when he said the following:
"I want to help the Syrian opposition to succeed and my argument is this: yes there are elements of the Syrian opposition that are deeply unsavoury, that are very dangerous, very extremist and I want nothing to do with them.
I’d like them driven out of Syria. They’re linked to Al Qaeda. But there are elements of the Syrian opposition who want to see a free democratic pluralistic Syria that respects the rights of minorities including Christians and we should working with them.
We are working with them and my point is this: that if we don’t work with those elements of the Syrian opposition then we can’t be surprised if the only elements of the Syrian opposition that are getting that are actually making any progress in Syria are the ones that we don’t approve of.
So what is Britain doing today, so people at home can understand, with Americans, French, with other allies in the Gulf, we’re training, we’re assisting, we’re giving non-lethal support.
Things like vehicles to the genuine Syrian opposition and trying to help them because after all they are trying to defend their communities against appalling attacks including, let’s be clear, chemical weapon attacks.
And President Assad is now guilty of the most appalling crimes against his people. 90,000 people dead and some of them through the use of appalling chemical weapons."
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