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Arab League approves sanctions against Syria

Nineteen of the league’s 22 countries voted to punish Syria for cracking down on citizens.

Syria sanctions 2011 11 27Enlarge
Syria-reform supporters, waving Syria's old pre-Baath national flag, protest outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Nov. 24, 2011. (MAHMUD HAMS /AFP/Getty Images)

The Arab League approved a harsh set of economic sanctions against Syria today, the New York Times reported. The sanctions took effect immediately.

More from GlobalPost: Arab League proposes sanctions against Syria

Nineteen of the league’s 22 countries voted to punish Syria for cracking down on an opposition uprising, Voice of America reported. Iraq and Lebanon, Syria’s neighbors, voted against the sanctions, BBC News reported.

The sanctions include a travel ban against Syrian officials and politicians, a ban on transactions with the Syrian Central Bank and the halting of Arab-financed projects in the country, the New York Times reported.

“The position of the people, and the Arab position, is that we must end this situation urgently,” Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassem said after announcing the sanctions, the New York Times reported. “It has been almost a year that the Syrian people have been killed.”

According to BBC News:

The Arab League sanctions are not expected to cripple Syria overnight, and there will undoubtedly be loopholes which Damascus will be able to exploit. But the League's first-ever venture into such punitive action against one of its own members will heighten the sense of siege, pressure and isolation which Syria is already suffering, and it is bound to aggravate an already dire economic situation.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111127/arab-league-approves-sanctions-syria