Global General

US, Italy concerned over Syrian situation

Updated: 2011-05-05 19:13
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ROME -- The escalading protest in Syria has forced its way onto the agenda of the second contact group talks on Libya, aimed at further sanctions against the North Africa country and an immediate end to the violence there.

When speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the United States had put in place "targeted sanctions" against specific individuals and groups connected to the reported abuses in Syria.

Meanwhile, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini said that Italy would lobby the European Union to put into place similar sanctions.

Syrian troops in and around the capital of Damascus reportedly arrested hundreds of protesters on Wednesday and Thursday as the government seeks to control the situation.

"We have to show the Syrian government that there are consequences for this brutal crackdown," Clinton told reporters, adding that the U.S. would continue to closely monitor developments in Syria.

The group talks on the same day gathered representatives of 22 national delegations, the European Union, the Arab League, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and eight observer countries.