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'Friends of Syria' meet in Paris to coordinate various sanctions measures on Assad regime
PARIS (AP) ' Diplomats and finance ministry officials from the Arab world, the West and elsewhere are meeting to coordinate sanction measures taken against Syrian President Bashar Assad's repressive regime.
The Arab League and the European Union are among more than 50 participants who want to keep up pressure on Assad despite his commitment to special envoy Kofi Annan's plan to end 13 months of violence in Syria.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe was set to kick off Tuesday's closed-door talks in Paris under the "Friends of Syria" banner. But two Arab League nations ' Syrian neighbors Iraq and Lebanon ' were not attending.
Diplomats say a string of EU, U.S. and other sanctions are affecting Assad by curbing Syria's ability of export oil and the ability of his cronies to do business abroad.