Germany says wants special UN envoy sent to Syria

BERLIN - Germany will ask the United Nations to send a special envoy to Syria to increase pressure on Damascus over its crackdown on civilian protesters, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Thursday.
The move would add weight to the UN Security Council's condemnation of Syria on Wednesday, when it urged the government to respect human rights and comply with its obligations under international law.
"Together with our partners, I will urge the UN to name a special envoy for Syria who will start work immediately, carrying the international community's clear message to Damascus and adding authority to the demands of the Security Council," Westerwelle said in statement.
European Union states agreed on Thursday to further extend sanctions on Syria but stopped short of targeting the oil industry and banks, which dissidents say would be the only way to choke off funds that fuel repression in the country.