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Syria’s neighbours may soften sanctions blow

Syria’s neighbours may soften sanctions blow

Iraq, Lebanon voted against sanctions on Syria; Syrian economy already reeling from 8 months of unrest; Jordan says economic pain is price for pressure on Assad

November 28, 2011 4:54 by

…countries might drag their feet.

“If every country starts saying it has special considerations then I expect the move will be more symbolic than practical. Countries will try to find a way out of it,” he said.

“It will be a step by step approach, but will no doubt have a negative impact on both the Syrian and Jordanian economies.”

Jordan’s King Abdullah is the only Arab leader so far to have called for Assad to step down and a Jordanian official said economic losses were a price the had to be paid for increasing the pressure on Assad.

“Of course there will be economic pain in the sort term and some Jordanian importers and exporters will suffer because of the cut of ties with Syria,” he said. “But political considerations outweigh the economic losses.”

Turkey, which is Syria’s largest trading partner with bilateral trade worth $2.5 billion last year, also attended Sunday’s Arab League meeting, and Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said Ankara would act in unison with Arabs.

Ankara has said it is weighing new transport routes to other Middle East markets that would bypass Syria. But an official said last week it had decided against cutting electricity supplies to Syria because of the impact it would have on ordinary Syrians. (By Dominic Evans and Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Writing by Dominic Evans; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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