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The Mideast

U.S. Treasury Calls Sanctions on Syria 'Effective'

Economic sanctions on Syria coupled with steps by countries in the region will hasten the ouster of Bashar Assad's regime, a U.S. treasury official said Sunday, consulting with Jordan about enforcing the measures.

Daniel Glaser, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary, briefed Jordanian government officials and banking executives on the U.S. and EU sanctions against Assad's government. The sanctions were imposed as pressure on Assad to stop his brutal crackdown on dissent.

A U.S. Embassy statement said Glaser discussed possible Syrian attempts to bypass the sanctions by using the Jordanian financial sector.

The statement provided no details on how the U.S. thinks Jordan could assist. Glaser declined to discuss any plans in public.

Jordan has been highly critical of Assad's bloody crackdown on the 8-month-old uprising demanding his ouster.

"Sanctions are already having a big impact on the Syrian economy," he told The Associated Press in an interview.

"Syria is under tremendous economic pressure today from the international sanctions that currently exist," he said. "And that pressure is only going to increase as countries within this region and countries internationally start to place sanctions of their own and start to regard the Syrian regime as a pariah regime."

"The regime is on its way out," he said.

He praised the Arab League for considering economic sanctions of its own. On Saturday the 22-nation body moved to suspend Syria, after the Assad regime failed to implement an accord with the Arab League that called for an end to the violence.

Glaser is on the second leg of a regional tour that has taken him to Lebanon.