Merkel welcomes Arab League sanctions on Syria

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday welcomed Arab League sanctions against Syria, saying she was pleased the pan-Arab bloc and the EU were pulling in the same direction.

"I made it clear from my side that we expressly support this path by the Arab League," Merkel told a joint press conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II who is on a two-day visit to Berlin.

The king, whose country is part of the 22-member Arab League, described the situation in Syria as "alarming" but said Jordan did not support military action against the country.

"We in Jordan do not believe in military intervention into Syria but the implications of what's going on is alarming especially on the humanitarian level," he told reporters.

In an unprecedented move, the Arab League voted Sunday to slap sweeping sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad over its eight-month crackdown on anti-regime protests.

"We also from the German side are working very intensively for a UN Security Council resolution regarding the events in Syria and the massive human rights abuses," Merkel told reporters.

"I am pleased that we here also, between the Arab League and the European Union, are preceding very strongly in one direction," she added.

UN human rights investigators said Monday that Syrian security forces had committed crimes against humanity following orders from the "highest levels" of government.

The United Nations says more than 3,500 people have been killed.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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