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Monday, November 28, 2011

Syria says Arab League declared economic war - 28th Nov 2011

Syria said on Monday the Arab League had declared economic war on Damascus by announcing sanctions against its Central Bank, but said it had already withdrawn most funds targeted by a freeze on government assets.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem also accused the Arab League of ignoring armed groups Damascus blames for the violence during the eight-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, displaying graphic pictures of bloodied corpses during a televised news conference in Damascus.

Syria made every effort to find a way out of the crisis, in which the United Nations says 3,500 people have been killed by Assad's crackdown, Moualem said. "Yesterday, with the decision they took, they closed these windows," he said.

It was clear the Arab League wanted "to internationalize the crisis ... I never felt their intentions were honest," he said.

Damascus insists it has started to implement a November 2 agreement to withdraw its military from urban centers, release political prisoners and launch a dialogue with the opposition, and Moualem said it had not rejected outright an Arab League monitoring mission.

"Sanctions are a two-way street. I am not warning here, but we will defend the interests of our people ... We have to defend the interests of our people," the minister said. Read More