Spain says it now favors sending *defense material* to Syrian rebels

Spain says it favors a partial lifting of sanctions against Syria that would allow the delivery of "defense material" that could include arms to help protect the population.

To date, Spain has defended sending only non-lethal aid. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo said Tuesday Spain's position was "changing with the evolution of circumstance on the ground."

The ministry says the material could include arms but stressed that it was for defense.

European Union foreign ministers are to meet May 27 to decide on whether to lift the sanctions, which expire June 1. Britain and France also favor arming the rebels.

Margallo was speaking alongside Syria opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib, who called on the international community to decide whether or not it will help bring an end to the Arab state's civil war.