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28 Nov, 2011 18:17

Closed-door politics: ‘Economic war’ against Syria seals crisis

The Arab League's sanctions against Damascus are in fact “a declaration of economic war" against the Syrian people, which have “closed windows” for resolving the country’s crisis, the country’s senior diplomat says.

"Let them study the history of Syria very well," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told reporters at a news conference on Monday. "Neither warnings nor sanctions will work with us."On November 27, the Arab League approved sweeping sanctions targeting Syria for its crackdown on protesters. The UN says more than 3,500 people have been killed during the eight-month uprising.Moreover, the EU plans to tighten sanctions against Syria's oil and financial sectors this coming Thursday, to deprive President Assad's regime of more sources of funding, AFP reports.EU foreign ministers are to adopt a raft of sanctions including bans on exporting gas and oil industry equipment to Syria, trading Syrian government bonds and selling software that could be used to monitor internet and telephone communications.Syria insists it is the victim of a foreign-supported insurgency by armed gangs, which al-Moallem attempted to prove by showing reporters footage of charred and bloodied corpses."I'm sorry for these gruesome pictures, but they are a gift for the members of the Arab League who still deny the presence of these armed gangs," he said.Al-Moallem noted that armed terrorist groups intensified their crimes after the army and security forces left some towns, reports Syria's official news agency SANA."Stop funding gunmen in Syria and media instigation against it. We want you to take steps to control borders.We are prepared to cooperate with neighbouring countries," he told the Arab League.Also on Monday, the UN released a report that found Syrian troops committed "crimes against humanity", including the killing of hundreds of children since the government crackdown began in March.The report insists Syrian security forces, along with militias, were given "shoot-to-kill" orders to crush demonstrations.Meanwhile Russia’s foreign ministry says Moscow is closely-monitoring Arab League efforts to seek fast and peaceful way to settle the Syrian crisis without external interference.“We presume that the priority here is to preserve the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria as one of the key countries in the Middle East,” the statement reads.

Dr. Hisham Ghassib, a political analyst from Jordan, told RT that the sanctions against Syria are meaningless on every level and are just a tool for Western maneuvers in the region.“Western power, particularly the United States, want now to use the sanctions, they want to use the decisions of the Arab League for their own purposes,” he claimed. “What they want is to weaken the Syrian regime and to weaken the alliance between Syria, Iran and Lebanon.” “It has nothing to do with stopping the violence; on the contrary, they are feeding the violence,” he stated.