Qatar calls to arm Syrian rebels
Qatar Monday called on the international community to arm the Syrian insurgents. "I think we should do whatever it takes to help, including giving them arms to defend themselves," said Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, who is visiting Norway. "Since we have not managed to mobilize the U.N. Security Council, I think we should do something to send enough military aid to stop the violence," he added.
Western countries have so far ruled out any military intervention, under the command of NATO, which last year helped to overthrow the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. For their part, the Arab Gulf States have supported a firmer approach towards the Syrian crisis. On Friday, Saudi Arabia backed publicly the idea of arming the rebels fighting against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned the West against a military intervention in Syria. In an article for published by "Novosti Moskowskie" the newspaper, Putin also defended Russia's veto in the UN Security Council. The Syria resolution could be interpreted as an approval for a military intervention, insisted Putin.
On his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Moscow that the constitutional referendum, which was held yesterday in Syria, was a step towards the democratization of Syria. He called on opponents of President Assad to engage in the reform process in the country.