Report: Israel talks with Qatar over arming rebels

Iranian news outlet 'Fars' reports Israeli representative met with Qatari officials in London over arms supply, negotiations.

June 16, 2013 17:40
1 minute read.
Free Syrian Army fighter  in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighbourhood, April 28, 2013

Free Syrian Army fighter 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Aref Hretani)

Fars News Agency, which claims to be independent but which is widely known to have close ties to Iran's Revolutionary Guards, cited Qatari security sources as claiming to have met with Israeli officials in London over supplying arms to rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad in Syria.

According to Fars, Israel sent its Coordinator on Syrian Affairs Afif Shavit to a meeting with Qatari officials in London in late May.

"The 4-hour meeting was held in a house in Braum House in London belonging to Khalid a-Abeed, a Qatari citizen residing in Britain, on May 20," the source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Fars.

According to the source, it was decided that Israel prepare and supply weapons to the opposition and enter negotiations with European arms manufacturing companies on arms purchases and money transfer methods.

The source added that the Qatari side was to cover the funds and needed budget for purchases. According to Britian's Financial Times, Qatar has spent billions of dollars in the past two years to fund the Syrian terrorist and rebel groups.

The meeting was conducted after the EU decided to lift the arms embargo on foreign-backed militants in Syria. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the EU meeting had effectively ended the EU's arms embargo on the Syrian opposition.

"While we have no immediate plans to send arms to Syria, it gives us the flexibility to respond in the future if the situation continues to deteriorate," Hague told reporters.

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