Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Damascus denounces European Union sanctions against Asad

Damascus denounced on Monday the sanctions imposed by the European Union against Syrian President Bashar Assad, believing that it is an interference in the internal affairs and an attempt to "destabilize" Syria. "Syria denounces European Union sanctions against his people when he tries to preserve its security and establish a national dialogue in the context of reforms," reported the official news agency Sana.

"The EU decisions are intended to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria and destabilize its security," he added. After the United States, the European Union decided Monday to ban visas and freezing assets of Bashar Assad. The pressure has increased against the Assad government to end violence against demonstrators The foreign ministers of the EU agreed at a meeting in Brussels to add to several Syrian officials, including Assad, to the list of people affected by travel restrictions and assets freeze block.

"Technically, the legal action has been accepted," said one EU diplomat, but said the foreign ministers would discuss the initiative at the meeting on Monday. The Foreign Minister of Germany, Guido Westerwelle, said it was necessary to take actions against Syria's top leaders. "If someone represses its own people that way, responds strongly to the peaceful demonstrations, this can not go unchallenged by the European Union," he said.

Syrian security forces shot dead six people in the city of Homs on Saturday at the funeral of victims of the latest crackdown on demonstrators, who demanded the departure of Asad, witnesses said. Human rights groups estimate that more than 700 civilians have been killed by security forces amid a popular uprising nearly two months that extended from the south to cities all over Syria.

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