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London, Rome condemn Syria crackdown - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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LONDON, (AFP) — London and Rome on Monday condemned “unacceptable” violence in Syria after deadly assaults by security forces on anti-regime protesters.

“We agreed that the situation in Syria is deeply troubling, and that violence against protesters is unacceptable,” Foreign Secretary William Hague said after talks with Italian counterpart Franco Frattini in London.

Hague called on the government of President Bashar al-Assad “to respect the right to free speech and to peaceful protest.”

The regime must “put in train the meaningful political reform which is the only legitimate response to demands from the Syrian people,” he urged.

The condemnation came as Syrian students rallied in Damascus to express solidarity with protesters killed over the weekend.

Twenty-six people were killed on Friday in Daraa, a southern town which has become a hub for protests, according to rights groups, while witnesses said a weekend crackdown left four civilians dead in the town of Banias.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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