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Sarkozy calls for swift EU sanctions against Libya

PARIS, Feb 23, 2011 – French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Wednesday for the European Union to adopt "swift and concrete sanctions" and suspend economic and financial relations with Libya.

"I call on the foreign ministry to propose to our European Union partners the swift adoption of concrete sanctions so that all those involved in the ongoing violence know that they must assume the consequences of their actions," Sarkozy told a cabinet meeting.

"These measures concern notably the possibility of bringing them to face justice, barring them from the Union\’s territory and surveillance of financial movements," Sarkozy said, according to a text published by his office.

"I would also like to be examined the suspension until further notice of economic, commercial and financial relations with Libya," he added.

He repeated his condemnation of the "brutal and bloody repression" of those protesting against Moamer Kadhafi\’s 41-year rule and said the international community could not "remain a spectator when faced with these massive human rights violations."

Strongman Kadhafi is increasingly isolated amid his brutal crackdown against the insurrection, with his opponents controlling much of the energy-rich North African nation.

Libya\’s government has said 300 people, including 111 soldiers, have been killed in the protests, which erupted on February 15 after the rulers of neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt were ousted in similar uprisings.

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