Germany pushing for sanctions against Syria
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle pushed Friday for tough sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as European Union ambassadors were due to discuss their response to a fierce government crackdown on protest, dpa reported.
"We strictly condemn the acts of violence against compatriots," Westerwelle told public broadcaster ARD.
EU ambassadors of the bloc's 27 member states were to meet in Brussels on Friday, to coordinate their response to Syria's brutal government crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.
"We Europeans will agree to sanctions," Westerwelle said, adding that it was important for the international community to speak with one voice.
At the same time, he said diplomatic pressures were the best response to repressive regimes.
"Political solutions are the most sustainable solutions," Westerwelle said.
Ruprecht Polenz, who heads the foreign policy committee in the German parliament, also demanded "targeted sanctions," to send a clear signal to Damascus.
"I am in favour of making it very clear to Syria that the approach is unacceptable," Polenz told Deutschlandfunk radio.
Pro-democracy activists say that more than 600 Syrians have been killed since the political uprising began in mid-March, while a UN official has numbered around 400 dead.