Western powers to seek UN sanctions against Syria

19th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain, France, Germany and Portugal said Thursday that they will seek a UN Security Council resolution ordering sanctions against Syria over its deadly crackdown on protests.

The measures proposed could include an assets freeze and travel ban against Syrian individuals as well an arms embargo, Britain's deputy UN ambassador Philip Parham told reporters after a council meeting on the Syria crisis. The United States would strongly support the sanctions effort, deputy US ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo said.

Parham said work on the resolution would be carried out in coming days and did not set a timetable for submitting it to other members of the 15-nation body.

UN officials say at least 2,000 civilians have been killed in a crackdown on protests since mid-March. While Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has promised reforms, Parham said "we cannot let ourselves be strung along by talk of better times ahead."

Any resolution is likely to face strong opposition however from Russia and China, which, as permanent members of the council, can veto any measure. Brazil, India and South Africa have also opposed tough measures against Syria.

© 2011 AFP

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