Reacting to news today that Washington has announced sanctions on Bashar Al-Assad and several ministerial colleagues responsible for the recent crackdown, Guy Verhofstadt says that the EU must follow suit at the Foreign affairs ministers meeting next Monday at the latest:

“We have been calling on the High Representative for several weeks now to get agreement on tough and targeted sanctions on the Syrian leadership and not just on second tier officials.”

“Now that the Americans have shown some decisiveness in bringing increased pressure on those responsible in Damascus for the crackdown which has led to over 800 deaths so far, the European Union must reinforce the message on Al-Assad that the international community stands united and holds him personally responsible for the violence and deaths of civilians involved in the demonstrations.”