CANBERRA - Australia imposed new travel bans and financial sanctions on Syrian leaders on Tuesday as it steps up actions to force an end to violence against Syria's civilian population.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said more than 5,000 people had been killed in a year of violence in Syria and President Bashar Assad had shown complete disregard for the rights and welfare of the Syrian people.
"Assad should step down. This violence by the Assad regime should end," Rudd told the Australian parliament.
Rudd said Australia would extend travel bans and financial sanctions to cover an extra 75 people and 27 entities in Syria, and would work with other countries on possible further sanctions. Australia previously had travel bans on 34 people and 13 entities.