The European Union Monday welcomed unprecedented Arab League sanctions imposed on Syria, casting them as a response to the "brutality and unwillingness to change course" of the Damascus government.

"We welcome and support the decision taken by the Arab League," said Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

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"Sanctions by the Arab League as well as the restrictive measures applied by the EU are a reaction to the regime's brutality and unwillingness to chance course," she said.

In an interview with French Info radio, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Monday that the Syrian regime's days are "numbered."

Juppe added that efforts to stop the killing of Syrian protesters are moving slowly. However, thanks largely to Arab League sanctions, they are making progress. "The Arab League, which carries considerable political weight, has just decided on some sanctions which will isolate the Syrian regime a bit more."

The Arab League suspended Syria's membership in the organization earlier in the month, and on Sunday
agreed to impose economic measures on the Damascus-based regime. The sanctions - the toughest against a member state - include a travel ban on top Syrian officials and a freeze on assets related to the President Bashar Assad's government.

EU governments are expected Thursday to approve a new round of sanctions aimed at raising pressure on Assad over his military crackdown on an eight-month-old wave of popular unrest.

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