PM detects echoes of Bosnia in Syria diplomacy


Prime Minister David Cameron has said there is a "similarity" between current discussions on how to end the Syria conflict and the diplomatic failure to prevent bloodshed in Bosnia in the 1990s.

At his weekly Commons question session on 20 March 2013, Mr Cameron faced questions from Labour leader Ed Miliband on whether the UK government supported arming the opposition in Syria.

Mr Miliband acknowledged the current situation in Syria was terrible but said "we mustn't make it worse with the actions we take".

He said: "The UN has said the introduction of more weapons into Syria is 'counter-productive and will not lead to a solution'."

The opposition leader called on the UK government to push instead for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

But Mr Cameron said: "It is worth recalling the fact the current policies are not working for the people of Syria.

"Seventy thousand people are dead and this hateful regime is still in place."

He said he had discussed the possibility of lifting the arms embargo with other EU leaders at a recent summit.

"I felt sitting round the European Council chamber there was a slight similarity between some of the arguments that were being made about not putting more weapons into Syria that seemed to me to be very familiar to the discussions we had about Bosnia and the appalling events that followed," he told the Commons.

"In my view, it is better to be engaged, working with the Syrian opposition and trying to bring this conflict to an end."

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