Cameron: 'criminal' Syrian regime must be held to account

AFP, Friday 2 Mar 2012

Britain's PM David Cameron calls for the 'criminal' Syrian regime to be held to account and quick humanitarian access into Homs

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at an European Union leaders summit in Brussels March 1, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron called Friday for the "criminal" Syrian regime to be held to account.

"One day, no matter how long it takes, there will be a day of reckoning for this dreadful regime," Cameron said as he joined European Union leaders on the second day of a two-day summit.

EU leaders will pledge to tighten the noose on President Bashar al-Assad's regime with fresh sanctions during talks later Friday on what Cameron dubbed the "absolutely appalling" situation in Syria.

"It is vitally important that there is humanitarian access into Homs and elsewhere so that people can get the help they need," Cameron said, referring to a flashpoint city that has suffered heavy shelling.

"But above all, what I think matters is building the evidence and a picture so we hold this criminal regime to account and to make sure that it is held to account for the crimes it is committing against its people."

A draft statement of summit conclusions obtained by AFP said the 27-nation bloc "confirms its commitment to further increasing the pressure on the Syrian regime as long as the violence and human rights abuse continues".

It also called on EU foreign ministers to prepare further targeted restrictive measures against the regime.

EU ministers last week slapped fresh sanctions on Syria, including a freeze on its central bank assets, the 12th round of EU sanctions against Assad's regime.

Measures also included an assets freeze and travel ban on seven Syrian ministers, a ban on trade in gold and precious metals and a ban on cargo flights to the EU operated by Syrians.

The EU has already blacklisted almost 150 Syrian entities and people.

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