Nov. 27 - Arab states vote to impose economic sanctions on Syria in response to President Bashar al-Assad's failure to stop a crackdown on protesters. Deborah Gembara reports.
Arab states responded to Syria's continued crackdown on anti-government protests by voting to impose economic sanctions. This video posted to a social media website is purportedly from the eastern part of the country. Reuters cannnot independently verify its content. In Cairo, nineteen of the league's 22 members voted for sanctions that include a travel ban on Syrian officials, freezing government assets and stopping all trade with Syria's central bank. The league's chairman says Syria's refusal to abide by a plan to withdraw troops from major urban areas left them with few options. Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani SOUNDBITE:Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani saying (Arabic): "We hoped not to have reached this stage, and we really hope we can reach a clear understanding in which the decisions are implemented immediately so that we can move on to a new stage, based on the Arab initiative." The move is a surprising one for the league -- which has traditionally avoided taking action against its members. Syria has refused to allow monitors and international media into the country since the unrest, which has claimed 3,500 lives, began. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.