News / Middle East

Arab League Approves Sanctions Against Syria

The seat of the Foreign Minister of Syria is seen empty during a meeting for Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, to discuss the situation in Syria, November 24, 2011.
The seat of the Foreign Minister of Syria is seen empty during a meeting for Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, to discuss the situation in Syria, November 24, 2011.

Arab League foreign ministers, meeting in Cairo, agreed Sunday to impose a series of biting economic sanctions on Syria, after Damascus failed to accept an Arab plan to send monitors in response to its deadly crackdown on an opposition uprising. The ministers will meet again next Saturday to review the effects of their action.

Nineteen of 22 Arab League foreign ministers voted to impose the sanctions on Syria. It was an extraordinary action against a member state.

The sanctions include a freeze on the assets of Syrian leaders in Arab states, an end to Arab investment and trade with Syria, a halt to dealings with Syria's central bank, and a ban on travel by Syrian officials to Arab states.

The Arab League's point-man for Syria, Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber al Thani, said the vote to impose sanctions will have its desired effect, even if the sanctions are never applied, so long as Syria ultimately agrees to stop targeting civilians:

Arab foreign ministers will hold a follow-up meeting in one week to re-evaluate the effects of the sanctions and whether they need to be prolonged.

Observers say that Syria could still decide to agree to the Arab League plan within the coming week to have sanctions lifted.

Sheikh Hamad expressed frustration over the long political discussions, stressing that the Arab League could “keep discussing the matter for another year, and issuing new decrees,” but that “the Syrian people would continue to die.”

Arab League head Nabil al Arabi told journalists that extra care would be taken to see that the new economic sanctions would not hurt the Syrian people or neighboring states:

The Syrian economy is already reeling from the convulsions of the eight-month old popular uprising, along with economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States.

Al Arabiya TV reported that the league's decision to freeze the assets of Syrian officials in the Gulf states is the sanction mostly likely to pressure Damascus. Syrian leaders reportedly have few assets in either Europe or the U.S., but large sums invested in the Gulf.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid