Financial sanctions on table for al-Assad

Financial sanctions on table for al-Assad

İpek Yezdani ISTANBUL / ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Financial sanctions on table for al-Assad

Syrians living in Turkey chant slogans as they wave Turkish and Syrian flags during a protest against the Syrian regime. AFP photo

Turkey and the Arab League could impose new economic sanctions against Syria if the Syrian regime rejects the offer to allow an Arab League observer mission into the country.

A deadline set by the Arab League for Syria to sign a deal allowing monitors into the country expired Nov. 25 without any Syrian response, but Arab governments would give Damascus until the end of the day to answer, Reuters reported.

Turkish and Jordanian foreign ministers came together in Istanbul on Nov. 25 to discuss the developments in Syria after the Arab League’s call on Syria to allow 500 observers into the country Nov. 24.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the new Arab League ultimatum for Syria, which expired Nov. 25, was the “last chance” for the regime in Damascus but ruled out military intervention to end the bloody repression of protests.

“Today [Nov. 25] is a historic day for Syria. They should open their door for the Arab League’s observers. We do not have any patience left for the ongoing bloodshed in Syria. We think it is now vital to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people,” Davutoğlu said at a joint press conference with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh.

Davutoğlu said Turkey and the Arab League are in constant coordination and opinion sharing regarding the situation in Syria. “There is excellent coordination between Turkey and the Arab League. We share every step we make and every opinion we develop,” Davutoğlu said. Turkey has agreed upon a road map with the Arab League regarding the steps that will be taken toward Syria, he said.

The Arab League was to organize a meeting of the economy ministers for Nov. 26 to coordinate the possible economic sanctions that might be imposed on Syria. Davutoğlu said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan was also going to attend the Nov. 26 meeting of the Arab League.

Davutoğlu said he was also ready to attend a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers that could take place Nov. 26 and he was continuing consultations with the European Union, NATO and U.N. Security Council members. Davutoğlu warned that Syria would be isolated by Turkey, Arab states and the entire international community if it rejected the Arab League proposals and said Ankara could adopt further measures against the regime.

“I hope that Syria will sign this accord,” Judeh said, referring to the peace plan that he said represented “the collective will of the Arab world.”

Meanwhile, a Syrian opposition group held a protest in front of the Syrian Consulate in Istanbul and chanted slogans calling support for the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” which is formed by the army defectors in Syria.


Ankara-Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had several phone conversations late Nov. 24 regarding the latest Syrian developments. One phone call came from German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who rejected France’s proposal of a humanitarian corridor into Syria while stressing Turkey’s support on Syrian opposition. Diplomatic sources said the Davutoğlu would visit Germany next week to meet with Turkish associations and citizens on the 50th anniversary of the Turkish-German labor recruitment agreement. He had phone conversations with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi and Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.