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Merkel pledges new steps to punish Syria

The Local · 6 Aug 2011, 11:54

Published: 06 Aug 2011 11:54 GMT+02:00

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US President Barack Obama spoke separately to France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Western nations cranked up pressure on Assad, on a day when another 14 people were killed in Ramadan protests in Syria.

"The leaders condemned the Assad regime's continued use of indiscriminate violence against the Syrian people," a White House statement said.

"They welcomed the August 3 presidential statement by the UN Security Council condemning Syria's actions, but also agreed to consider additional steps to pressure the Assad regime and support the Syrian people."

The telephone consultations come as Washington appears to be moving towards a direct call for Assad to leave, after saying this week his presence was now fomenting instability and leading the Middle East down a dangerous path.

The Obama administration had also said in recent days that it will press its allies in Europe and the Arab world, which are seen as having more leverage over Assad than Washington, to do more to increase pressure.

Earlier, activists said that Syrian security forces shot dead at least 14 people as thousands of people rallied in the streets against Assad on the first Friday of Ramadan to support the protest hub of Hama.

Story continues below…

The Syrian government has sought to crush the democracy movement with brutal force, killing more than 1,649 civilians and arresting thousands of dissenters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Group.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:15 August 6, 2011 by nec123
who the hell sarkozy and merkel think they are? consider above UN or NATO? BS..
14:36 August 6, 2011 by harcourt
Thank you for your comment Mr Assad.
17:41 August 6, 2011 by derExDeutsche
Syria does not have much oil by Middle Eastern standards. Someone can tell the rebels not the leave the lights on, nobody is coming
10:15 August 9, 2011 by HistoryProffessor
Every time Merkel pledges something when it comes to International Relations, I chuckle to myself for a minute or two.
14:33 August 9, 2011 by Sastry.M
Achtung! Frau Kanzler Merkel and allies may have to seriously consider later the Londoner Riots too!
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