OTTAWA, Aug 31, 2012 (AFP) -
OTTAWA, Aug 31, 2012 (AFP) –
Canada expanded sanctions against Syria Friday, praised Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi for slamming Syria’s regime as “oppressive” and warned Russia over its support for Syria.
Canada added 50 names to a list of people and organizations linked to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to be targeted by sanctions. It is Canada’s 10th tightening of sanctions against Syria in the past year.
“The Assad regime’s bloody assault on the people of Syria continues unabated. To date, more than 20,000 have been killed, and more than 180,000 have fled to neighbouring countries,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said. “The entire region is becoming increasingly unstable.”
The expanded sanctions are meant to “further isolate and increase pressure on the regime and to erode its capacity for repression,” the minister said.
Baird also praised Morsi for having on Thursday urged support for rebels seeking Assad’s ouster. “We welcome the comments of the Egyptian president,” Baird said.
And he said Prime Minister Stephen Harper would call down Russia over its blocking of UN resolutions to pressure the Syrian regime to rein in its crackdown on the rebellion, when Harper attends an APEC summit next week in Vladivostok, Russia.
“We’ll bring up our strong objections to the actions of the Russian government which we take great exception to, not just the veto at the Security Council, but moral support and other support that allowed this regime to soldier on. We’ll make our views known directly to the Russian leadership,” Baird said.