France says it is ready to give weapons to Syria rebels

September 20, 2013 01:52

PARIS - French President Francois Hollande suggested for the first time on Thursday that Paris could arm Syrian rebels in a "controlled framework" given that they were now caught between the Syrian government on one side and radical Islamists on the other.

"I assess that the Russians regularly send them [weapons], but we will do it in a broader context with a number of countries and in a framework that can be controlled because we cannot accept that weapons could fall into the hands of jihadists that we have fought against here [in Mali]," Hollande told a news conference in Bamako, where he was attending a ceremony to mark the swearing-in of Mali's new president.

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