August 31, 2012 - 21:37 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Canada is putting more pressure on Syria Friday, Aug 31, as Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced an additional 47 people and three companies would be barred from business dealings under Canadian sanctions already imposed on the war-torn country’s shaky regime, The Globe and Mail reported.
At a Toronto press conference Friday, Baird reiterated the federal government’s opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his regime and its supporters. “We continue to urge the UN Security Council to adopt binding sanctions against Syria as a clear sign from the international community that the Assad regime must go,” he said.
This includes those Security Council members, he said, who have “previously blocked action and allowed this regime to soldier on.” China and Russia, both permanent members of the Security Council, have both been reluctant to put pressure on Mr. al-Assad’s regime.
Baird said he would stop short of supporting an interim government put together by the Syrian rebel opposition, which he called too “fragmented” at this point to form a cohesive governing body. French President Francois Hollande said this week that France would be willing to recognize a provisional government.
“I don’t think you can say there’s a single political voice,” Mr. Baird told reporters.
The three businesses barred dealing with Canadians are Drex Technologies S.A., the Cotton Marketing Organization and Syrian Arab Airlines.
Baird also said Friday that the Conservative government was “actively working” on opening an embassy in Myanmar, which was first announced in July. Canada reduced sanctions on the Southeast Asian country, formerly known as Burma, following its by-elections in April. International Trade Minister Ed Fast is visiting the country this week to encourage Canadian investment.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said he wants Canada to be part of the country’s economic growth, and encouraged Canadians to do business with Myanmar – but noted that they should “be vigilant in ensuring they are dealing with people who are reputable, and who have acted and will continue to act with a high degree of integrity.”