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In this June 20, 2011 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech in Damascus. (SANA/AP/SANA/AP)
In this June 20, 2011 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech in Damascus. (SANA/AP/SANA/AP)

Canada set to expand sanctions on Syria Add to ...

Canada is expanding its sanctions on Syria, adding new names to the list of people and organizations who face travel bans and asset freezes in Canada.

The new measures are an effort to add a symbolic ratcheting up of Canadian sanctions, which already limit economic ties including a ban on most Syrian imports. Others, notably the European Union, have tightened their sanctions this week, to pressure the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the bloody crackdown on opposition.

The new sanctions add the names of 21 individuals who are banned from travelling to Canada and whose assets would be frozen here. It also adds seven companies with whom Canadians are essentially barred from doing business.

At a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird acknowledged that there have been difficulties in getting the UN Security Council, where Russia has blocked sanctions, to take tougher action.

“Having said that the EU has stepped up in a big way. The Arab League has stepped up in a big way to fill a void and Canada will continue to work with both,” Mr. Baird said.

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