February 27, 2011 / 2:33 AM / in 8 years

Australia slaps sanctions on Gaddafi regime

Australia's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd addresses reporters during a news conference in Athens, February 2, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will impose sanctions on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his inner circle, including bans on financial dealings with 22 individuals and bans on entering Australian territory, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said.

In a statement received on Sunday, Rudd said Australia had decided to take these “autonomous sanctions” as a “concrete demonstration of Australia’s support for the people of Libya.”

The move comes as the U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, members of his family and inner circle.

Rudd, who is traveling in the Middle East, urged the U.N. to take “strong and decisive action,” including an arms embargo and referring Libya to the International Criminal Court.

“The Libyan regime’s use of violence against its people is deeply disturbing and completely unacceptable” Rudd said in a statement issued in Cairo on Saturday. “The time has come for Australia to reflect its grave concern by enacting these practical measures.”

The moves affect 22 members of the Libyan government, including Gaddafi himself, members of his family, as well as senior military and security figures.

They will prohibit Australians engaging in financial transactions with these individuals, who will also be banned from entering or transiting Australian territory.

Editing by Sugita Katyal

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