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Fri Oct 31 09:45:20 SAST 2014

Tokyo to host conference to boost Syria sanctions

Sapa-AFP | 05 November, 2012 09:27
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (C) stands with leaders of the army in this file photo.
Image by: SANA / REUTERS

Tokyo will host an international conference later this month aimed at increasing pressure on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Japanese officials said Monday.

“The meeting is aimed at broadening the range of countries taking part in sanctions and enhancing the effectiveness of pressure on the Syrian government,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said.

It will bring together senior government officials from “Friends of Syria Group” countries supporting Syrian opposition and seeking to ratchet up pressure on the al-Assad regime, a foreign ministry official said.

A similar meeting has been organised four times by the Friends of Syria Group — in Paris in April, Washington June, Doha July and the Hague September, the official said.

The Hague meeting saw participation by more than 60 countries.

The Tokyo government has frozen assets held in Japan by the Syrian president and military leaders since September last year, in concert with European countries and the United States.

Tokyo has also banned chartered flights from Syria since July.

Conflict erupted in Syria in March 2011 when al-Assad’s forces moved to crush pro-reform protests, triggering an armed uprising.

More than 36,000 people have been killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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