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Supporters of the Free Syrian Army ride a motorcycle with a rocket-propelled grenade in Syria at the weekend
Supporters of the Free Syrian Army ride a motorcycle with a rocket-propelled grenade in Syria at the weekend
Image: AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

EU foreign ministers to meet as international pressure increases on Syria

The Ministers are expected to approve more sanctions against the Assad regime which has been responsible for the death of thousands of protesters.
Feb 27th 2012, 8:58 AM 505 0

FOREIGN MINISTERS FROM across the EU will meet in Brussels today to discuss the continuing violence in Syria as the death toll continues to rise.

The Ministers are expected to approve more sanctions against Bashar Assad’s regime as international pressure builds against the country’s crackdown on civilians which has seen thousands of people killed. The situation has deteriorated significantly in recent weeks.

The Ministers are likely to endorse the major international conference in Tunisia on Friday, attended by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, which aimed to increase pressure on the Syrian government.

Gilmore said that the meeting had ruled out any direct military assistance of the kind given to rebel forces in Libya but focused instead on economic sanctions and diplomatic efforts.

Syrians yesterday voted on a new constitution in a referendum pushed by the government as an attempt to subdue the ongoing uprising.  The constitution would theoretically allow for the country’s political system to be opened up to other parties, in what is seen as an attempt by Assad’s government to placate critics.

US secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the vote “a cynical ploy” while Germany’s Foreign minister described it as a “farce” and a “shame vote”.

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- Additional reporting by Associated Press

Minister to investigate whether Irish technology being used in Syrian repression >

Syrians vote on new draft constitution as violence continues >

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Christine Bohan

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