EU could toughen Syria sanctions in days- ministers

July 18, 2011 15:05

BRUSSELS - The European Union could toughen sanctions on Syrian President President Bashar Assad's government in days over his crackdown on pro-democracy protests, EU foreign ministers said on Monday.

The EU has already imposed asset freezes and travel bans on Assad and other officials and targeted military-linked companies over the crackdown in which rights groups say more than 1,400 civilians have been killed since protests began in March.

"The situation remains very serious and if anything (is) deteriorating," British foreign minister William Hague said before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. "President Assad should reform or step aside."

"Certainly there will be a time for further sanctions and we need to be discussing now what those would be," he said.

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