Canadian PM Justin Trudeau: Assad must step down for Syria to have peace
Canada has slapped sanctions on 27 high-ranking Syrian government officials in an effort to force Bashar al-Assad to stop using violence against his people and remove him from power, according to Canadian media.
The individuals will have their assets in Canada frozen and they are prohibited from doing business with Canada, CTV News reported.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this week that the path to peace in Syria does not include Assad, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland issued a statement Friday that said Canada is also involved in the investigation of the use of chemical weapons to help build a case against those who commit war crimes in Syria.
“Last week’s chemical weapons attack in southern Idlib is a war crime and is unacceptable,” Freeland said, according to the Canadian Press wire service. “Canada is working with its allies to end the war in Syria and hold those responsible to account.”
Assad said his regime was not behind any chemical attack.
Earlier this week, Freeland urged Russia to stop its support of Assad, help to remove him from power and bring peace to Syria.
Ironically, Freeland is banned from entering Russia, one of 13 Canadians sanctioned as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response to Western sanctions three years ago.
Canada has said it would contribute $1.6 billion to provide assistance to the region and it has to date accepted 40,000 Syrian refugees.