OTTAWA: Canada's foreign affairs minister announced Tuesday sanctions against Syria's government over its "violent repression" of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators.
"Canada will, effective immediately, impose economic sanctions on members of the current Syrian regime... because of the regime's steadfast and continued refusal to end its violent repression of peaceful demonstrators and the threat this poses to the region," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said.
"This abhorrent crackdown must end," he added. "It is a grave breach of international peace."
The minister's announcement follows similar measures taken by the United States and allies prompted by reports of hundreds of people being killed by Syria's security forces since mid-March.
"Hundreds more have been injured and thousands have been arrested," said Baird. "The international community is not standing idly by, nor will Canada."
The sanctions include bans on members of the Syrian regime from traveling to Canada, and on exports of goods and technologies to Syria that could be used by its military and police such as arms, munitions and nuclear technologies.
As well, all bilateral cooperation agreements and initiatives with Syria will be suspended, Baird said.
Targeted for sanctions include Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Prime Minister Adel Safar and Dawud Rajiha, chief of staff of the armed forces, as well as 22 other high-ranking officials.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2011
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2011