UK Politics

UK 'working on targeted sanctions' against Syria

An image of soldiers and a tank taken on an amateur video on 25 April reportedly in Deraa
Image caption The Syrian town of Deraa has been the focus of much of the protests

The UK is working with its European partners on targeted sanctions against members of the Syrian regime, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.

He told MPs they were discussing "asset freezes and travel bans".

The EU has agreed an arms embargo against Syria, but France has said it wants President Bashar al-Assad to be targeted directly.

Activists say 560 people have been killed across the country in anti-government protests.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hague said the UK was at the "forefront of pressing for action by the EU".

"We are now working with our European partners on targeted sanctions on asset freezes and travel bans. I will be discussing this further with the French foreign minister this evening.

"We are also highly active at the United Nations Security Council," he said.

He also criticised the crackdowns by governments across the Middle East, saying: "Nothing can justify the use of lethal force against peaceful demonstrators."

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