Bloomberg News

Arab Ministers to Discuss Syria Sanctions After Deadline Passes

November 27, 2011

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Arab foreign ministers will meet tomorrow to discuss possible sanctions against Syria after it missed a deadline to allow monitors from the Arab League to enter the country.

The league’s Social and Economic Council will make recommendations to foreign ministers due to convene in Cairo that will include a possible travel ban on senior Syrian officials, a possible freeze on Syrian assets and the stoppage of flights to the country, Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Heli said. Syria didn’t sign an accord after it was given a deadline to do so by today.

“The Arab ministers will decide what can be implemented,” Ben Heli told reporters late today in the Egyptian capital, where the league is based.

The Arab League had asked Syria to admit monitors who would check whether President Bashar Al-Assad’s government was ending an eight-month crackdown against protesters in line with pledges made to the league. The United Nations estimates that at least 3,500 people have been killed.

The Arab League rejected Syrian requests to negotiate the terms of the deal, which was agreed on Nov. 2. The original deadline was Nov. 19.

Last week, the league suspended Syria, a founding member, for its handling of the unrest. It was the boldest action by the organization since its condemnation of Muammar Qaddafi’s repression of protests paved the way for the United Nations resolution in March authorizing a North Atlantic Treaty Organization campaign.

The UN has been paralyzed over Syria since Oct. 4, when Russia and China blocked a Security Council resolution calling on Assad to halt the crackdown. The U.S. and the European Union have already imposed sanctions on Syria targeting companies and senior officials.

--With assistance from Massoud A. Derhally in Beirut, Lebanon. Editors: Digby Lidstone, Bob Drummond

To contact the reporter on this story: Abdel Latif Wahba in Cairo at alatifwahba@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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