U.S. official discusses Syria sanctions with Jordan

AMMAN Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:32am EST

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AMMAN (Reuters) - A top U.S. treasury official held talks on Sunday with senior Jordanian officials and banking executives on efforts to enforce economic sanctions against Syria, a U.S. embassy statement said.

Daniel Glaser, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary who investigates terrorism financing, will also discuss possible attempts by Syria to evade U.S. and European Union sanctions through the Jordanian financial sector, the statement said.

Glaser's meeting with banking sector executives "will underscore the importance of Jordan's continued efforts to maintain a transparent and well regulated financial sector," it said.

The European Union and the United States recently have expanded sanctions against Syria to put pressure on Damascus to end the violent crackdown on demonstrators.

The Arab League which suspended Syria on Saturday also said it had planned economic sanctions against the Syrian leadership but did not disclose details.

Glaser already met in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.

The statement said the U.S. Treasury official stressed the "need for authorities to protect the Lebanese financial sector from Syrian attempts to evade sanctions."

Major Lebanese and Jordanian banks have several branches in Syria that were opened in the last six years when the country lifted restrictions on foreign stakes in the banking sector.

Several thousand protesters have been killed and injured in an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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