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eu tightens sanctions

Bildt calls for Syria "shift of focus"

Updated tisdag 24 juli 2012 kl 11.38
Published måndag 23 juli 2012 kl 15.25
"The regime will fall...we have to increase the focus on what we can do the day after"
(0:48 min)
Carl Bildt before the Brussels meeting, Photo: Georges Gobet/Scanpix

At their meeting in Brussels, EU foreign ministers decided Monday to tighten the sanctions against the Syrian government. The arms embargo has been extended to require searches of planes and ships on their way to Syria, and 28 more individuals and 3 companies have had their assets frozen.

On his way in to the meeting, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt says that focus must now shift on to what will have to be done when the al-Assad regime falls.

"The conflict has entered a new phase after last week," he told media outside. "After the fighting in Damascus, we had the bomb attack, we had the meltdown opf Security Council."

"What I would stress here is that we need to focus on two aspects. Firstly, the humanitarian, we have a large number of refugees inside the country, we have an increasing number of refugees outside the country. Secondly, the regime will fall. But it will leave Syria in a very difficult situation, so we need to increase the focus on what we can do the day after."

"We don't know when that day will come, but we know the day will come, and we must be there prepared to help."

Little help from foreign ministry for Syria Swedes

As the situation in Syria grows more and more uncertain, there are reports one million refugees have fled the country, and more are trying to flee. Among them are perhaps two hundred Swedes. But the Swedish authorities can’t do much to help them.

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