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Syria Calls Arab League Sanctions ‘Economic War’

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-28-11 06:46 PM
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Syria Calls Arab League Sanctions ‘Economic War’
Source: NYT

Outraged at the Arab League’s unprecedented battery of sanctions on Syria, the country’s foreign minister denounced the steps Monday as “economic war” by brethren states, and he hinted at retaliation. The reaction threatened to escalate the tensions over Syria’s violent repression of a political uprising that is now nearly nine months old.

“Sanctions are a two-way street,” the foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, told reporters at a televised news conference in Damascus. “I am not warning here, but we will defend the interests of our people,” he said in the remarks, disseminated by Arab and Western news agencies.

The foreign minister said that the Arab League’s sanctions, which are meant to sever most trade and investment between Syria and the Arab world, were a “declaration of economic war.”

Syria also faced additional pressure on Monday from the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where an independent commission of inquiry released a long-awaited report on rights abuses by the country’s security forces that suggested “crimes against humanity may have been committed.” The report, based on interviews with 223 victims and witnesses, documented what its summary described as “patterns of summary execution, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, torture, including sexual violence, as well as violations of children’s rights.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/world/middleeast/syri...
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