2011-05-18 08:48:19

EU and US plan new sanctions against Syria

The United States and European Union said on Tuesday they are preparing to hit Syria's leaders with new sanctions as it continues a brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Human rights activists in Syria say the crackdown to crush a two-month wave of protests against President Bashar Assad has killed at least 700 civilians.

``President Assad talks about reform, but his heavy-handed, brutal crackdown shows his true intentions,'' said US Secretary of Hillary Clinton.

The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, Catherine Ashton, said the EU and the United States will be taking actions against the Syrian regime unless it changes its tactics.

``This is extremely urgent and if the government, as it keeps telling us it does, wants to see some kind of change, it's got to be now,'' she said.

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