As Syria continues its violent repression of pro-democracy demonstrations, the European Union is reportedly planning new sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Westerwelle spoke at his party's convention in Frankfurt
Foreign ministers of the European Union are to pass a new round of sanctions against Syria for its bloody crackdown on protesters, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Sunday.
The 27 foreign ministers meet on Monday in Brussels, where Westerwelle said he expected approval of new travel restrictions for individuals involved in the crackdown, as well as financial sanctions.
"We believe it is essential that the international community sends a strong, unified message to Syria that the repression, the violence against peaceful demonstrators is in no way acceptable," Westerwelle said at the convention of his political party, the pro-business Free Democrats in Frankfurt.
The announcement comes one day after the Arab League vote to suspend Syria from membership over the violence, which the United Nations estimates has killed approximately 3,500 people. The New York-based Human Rights Watch said Syrian security forces had killed at least 125 people in the central city of Homs since November 2.
Pro-democracy advocates have been leading demonstrations in Syria for months, calling for an end to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria has called for an emergency summit of Arab League heads of state to discuss unrest in the country, state television said on Sunday.
The call comes after Syrian security forces killed four people who shouted slogans against Assad at a rally organized in the city of Hama, local activists told Reuters news agency.
Turkish authorities said they will evacuate the families of its diplomats in Syria after protesters attacked its missions in the country. Attackers threw stones and bottles before Syrian police intervened to break up the protest, Turkey's state-run Anatolian news agency said.
Attacks also occurred at Saudi Arabia's embassy in Damascus.
"The Syrian forces did not carry out the necessary measures to stop" the demonstrators, a Saudi Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying by SPA news agency.
Author: Andrew Bowen (Reuters, dpa)
Editor: Sean Sinico