France plans new Syria initiatives, mulls more sanctions

By REUTERS
February 5, 2012 21:40

 
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PARIS - France plans to bring together all those opposed to developments in Syria in the next few days and is considering new sanctions against Damascus after Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution, its foreign minister said on Sunday.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Saturday France was consulting with Arab and European countries to create a contact group on Syria to find a solution to its crisis.

"The president will take initiatives in the next few days to try to gather everyone who thinks the situation in Syria is completely unacceptable," Alain Juppe told BFM television. "It's a scandal what is happening today."

Paris, in consultation with Western and Arab allies, crafted the UN resolution which condemned the Syrian government's violent crackdown on 11 months of protests and backed an Arab League peace plan that would see Assad give up power.

"We will get together all countries that want to join us to put maximum pressure on Syria," Juppe said.

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