Group of 8 (G8) in paris (R) 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)
G8 countries are preparing to threaten Syria with United Nations action over its
violent crackdown on protesters, the German news agency DPA reported on
Thursday, quoting a draft-summit declaration.
According to the report,
the G8 was “appalled” by the deaths of hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators
“as a result of the sweeping use of violence by Syrian authorities,” and was
planning to call on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government to “immediately”
stop the crackdown, and free all political prisoners.
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“Should the Syrian
authorities not heed this call, we will consider action in the United Nations
Security Council,” the draft, obtained by DPA, warns.
The draft comes as
the EU on Monday imposed sanctions on Assad
and other Syrian officials. EU
foreign ministers agreed at a meeting in Brussels to expand restrictions against
Syria by adding Assad and nine senior members of the government to a list of
those subject to a freeze of assets, and banned from traveling to the
The support of G8 member Russia for UNSC action against Syria had
looked uncertain until now, reported DPA. However, Russian President Dimitry
Medvedev commented to his US counterpart Barack Obama on Thursday that Russia
would not support a resolution on Syria if it was similar to the resolution that
approved military intervention in Libya.
On Libya, the G8 was also due to
call for an “immediate” end to attacks by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces
against civilians, and to express support for a political settlement to the
country’s three-month revolt.
“We are committed to supporting a political
solution that reflects the will of the Libyan people,” the draft was cited as
reading by DPA, and added that Gaddafi “must go.”
A final declaration by
leaders of the G8 countries is expected be released at the end of the summit on