SOFIA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Friends of the Syrian People International Working Group on Sanctions (IWG) during its sixth meeting here on Tuesday called for enhancing punitive measures against Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.
"The sanctions are an effective mechanism for pressure and we will be persistent in maintaining them until the withdrawal of the regime," Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov said addressing the event.
According to a communique released after the meeting, the 56 participating countries and three international organizations called on all members of the international community, especially members of the United Nations Security Council, to take swift, responsible and resolute action.
The communique underlined that strong sanctions impose tangible consequences and make clear to the Assad regime and those countries, groups and individuals that are actively supporting the Syrian regime, that they are expected to cut their ties or face isolation.
The IWG also commended the efforts of Syria's neighbors to impose sanctions against the Syrian regime, despite adverse effects on their own economy and called for other countries, including those neighbors of Syria that have not implemented restrictive measures, to impose similar sanctions.
The group urged the international community to respond to appeals by the United Nations and its humanitarian partners to provide urgent financial support to address the growing humanitarian needs of the Syrian population, both for the civilians in Syria affected by the conflict and for Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.
Those responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes must be held accountable, the communique said.