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Oxfam: No new arms race in the Middle East

By Oxfam

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WASHINGTON, DC – With growing allegations of chemical weapons use inside Syria, the international community awaits a decision from President Obama about supplying weapons to the opposition. Noah Gottschalk, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor for international humanitarian organization Oxfam, said:

“Oxfam is concerned about reports that the Obama administration is preparing to send lethal support including weapons to Syrian opposition. In the absence of political solutions to the conflict, such support seriously risks further fueling violence and human rights abuses in Syria and sparking an arms race with deadly consequences for people in the region.”

“Millions of people are suffering, but providing more weapons will mean prolonged fighting and more civilian deaths, more long-term damage to infrastructure and the economy, and greater poverty in Syria. Instead, the United States and international community should focus on increasing diplomatic outreach, demonstrating to all sides the imperative of reaching a political solution.  

“Rather than providing arms, more international aid and improved humanitarian access is critical in the immediate term to reach all of those affected, including the 1.4 million refugees and nearly seven million in need inside Syria. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, President Obama should bring together other leaders to demand a political process that will ensure an equitable future for all Syrians.”

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