Turkey announces arms sanctions on Syria

Nov. 30, 2011 at 1:33 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Turkey Wednesday announced sanctions aimed at cutting off Syria from outside sources of weapons and also putting a crimp on trade between the two nations.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey would no longer sell military supplies to Damascus and would also halt the shipment of such goods from third parties through Turkey.

"Collective punishment methods, besieging cities, bombing mosques, using excessive violence against peaceful demonstrators and killing tens of people every day pointing weapons to their own people ... are the manifestations of the Syrian administration's lack of understanding of legitimacy," Davutoglu said.

The sanctions also include financial measures, CNN said. Turkey has frozen various Syrian assets and is no longer doing business with Syria's central bank.

The move carries significant potential consequences for the Syrian government as it continues trying to quash a stubborn popular revolt. Turkey is one of Syria's major trading partners with commerce totaling $2.4 billion in 2010, The Wall Street Journal said.

The White House issued a statement commending Turkey's action.

"The measures announced by the Turkish government today will undoubtedly increase the pressure on the Syrian regime, and we continue to call on other governments to join the chorus of condemnation and pressure against the Assad regime so that the peaceful and democratic aspirations of the Syrian people can be realized," the statement said.

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