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Arab League toughens stance on Syria

Arab League toughens stance on Syria
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Foreign ministers from Arab League states are due to meet today to ratify sanctions against Syria in response to continuing violence.

The measures were agreed by the League’s Economic Committee on Saturday in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

They reportedly include a travel ban on senior Syrian officials, a halt to commercial flights to the country and a cessation of dealings with Syria’s central bank.

But the Turkish Head of Economic Affairs, Ali Baba Ghan, said the sanctions are not aimed at ordinary people: “The Syrian government has lost an opportunity. These measures should not be linked with directly harming the daily lives of the Syrian people.”

For several weeks now, the Arab League has been trying to persuade Bashar al-Assad to call an end to the violent crackdown on protesters that has gone on for eight months. But successive deadlines have been missed. Activists say that on Saturday a further 42 civilians and soldiers died in the unrest.