SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Canada will push for stronger sanctions against Syria over a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.
“Their behaviour is outrageous,” Harper said Thursday during a state visit to Costa Rica.
“I think they’re on a path that, frankly, is not sustainable. But we will continue to work with our allies in particular to bring diplomatic pressure to bear … including bringing forth stronger sanctions, and that is something we will be elaborating on in the not-too-distant future.”
Canada has already put sanctions on Syria that prevent the country’s leaders from travelling to Canada and essentially ban trade between the two countries. But the measures are largely symbolic because Canada exports only about $60 million a year to Syria, and receives less than a tenth of that in imports.
The United States has been turning up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as Syrian forces have widened a brutal offensive aimed at crushing a five-month uprising against the regime.