US, Britain and Saudi Arabia call for immediate end to Syrian crackdown

August 14th, 2011 - 3:58 am ICT by BNO News  

WASHINGTON (BNO NEWS) — United States President Barack Obama on Saturday discussed the situation in Syria with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and British Prime Minister David Cameron, and all three called for an immediate end to the government crackdown on protesters, the White House said.

In their phone conversation, Obama and Saudi King Abdullah “expressed their shared, deep concerns about the Syrian Government’s use of violence against its citizens,” the White House said in a statement.

“They agreed that the Syrian regime’s brutal campaign of violence against the Syrian people must end immediately, and to continue close consultations about the situation in the days ahead.”

In a separate conversation, Obama and Cameron also condemned the violence and reiterated “their belief that the Syrian people’s legitimate demands for a transition to democracy should be met.” According to the statement, the two leaders also agreed to continue monitoring the Syrian government’s actions and to consult on further steps in the days ahead.

The U.S. government on Wednesday announced new sanctions against Syria by including the country’s largest commercial bank and the country’s biggest mobile phone company. The U.S. Treasury Department said it prohibited U.S. citizens from engaging in commercial or financial transactions with those companies, while any assets owned by them in U.S. jurisdiction were frozen.

In mid-March, pro-democracy demonstrations began in Syria and have continued across the country, which has been ruled by the Baath Party since 1963. Protesters are demanding the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, who took over from his father in 2000.

Human rights groups have said that more than 2,000 people have died since the government crackdown on protesters began in mid-March and tens of thousands have been arrested. Global campaign group Avaaz said earlier that almost 3,000 people have also been forcibly disappeared.

Assad previously said that the recent events in the country are a conspiracy against national unity. The Syrian government has repeatedly claimed that the violent acts have been instigated by terrorists who use military uniforms and weaponry to pose as soldiers while attacking citizens.

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