Syria’s violent response to the protests has provoked international condemnation. Germany and Portugal are among several countries to back a call by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for an independent investigation into the growing number of civilian deaths.
In a joint statement France and Italy have called for sanctions and urged the EU to put pressure on Syria.
“The Arab people have an aspiration for liberty and democracy. To peacefully demonstrate – we don’t send in tanks and the army to face peaceful demonstrators, we don’t shoot at them.The brutality in unacceptable,” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy:
While even Turkey, a Muslim NATO ally but with good relations with Syria has expressed concern.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was sending an envoy to talk with the Syrian president.
“ Of course the ongoing situation is quite disturbing for us. Our envoy will convey our stance. We hope that these problems will be resolved as soon as possible but we don’t want an undemocratic approach.”