The United States stepped up sanctions on Syria Thursday, blaming it for fomenting a political crisis in Lebanon and for hindering the prospects of an Arab summit to be hosted by Damascus.
The US Treasury announced it was freezing the assets of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's cousin as part of widening sanctions against Damascus targeting officials engaged in "public corruption."
Accusing Rami Makhluf, a powerful Syrian businessman, of "improperly" benefiting from corruption of the Syrian regime, the Treasury said assets he held under US jurisdiction would be frozen.
US persons were also prohibited from dealing with him, it said.
President George W. Bush had issued an executive order on February 13 to take additional measures to address US security, foreign policy and economic concerns posed by the Syrian government.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Şubat 2008, 12:26