Washington: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Wednesday called for tougher sanctions against Syria to hasten political change in that Middle East country.
Addressing the second meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People International Working Group on Sanctions, which drew representatives from 55 nations, the US official said sanctions alone could not bring about the change sought by Washington and its allies, "but sanctions can play an important role".
The one-day event, co-chaired by the governments of Turkey and Qatar, focused on ways to further strengthen international sanctions against the Syrian government, Xinhua reported.
"Strong sanctions, effectively implemented, aggressively enforced, can help deprive the Syrian regime of the resources it needs to sustain itself and to continue its repression of the Syrian people," Geithner said.
He said the US hopes that all "responsible countries will soon join in taking appropriate economic actions against the Syrian regime", including, if necessary, UN Security Council resolutions that authorise the use of force.
The first meeting of the group was held in Paris in April.