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Page last updated at 07:39 GMT, Monday, 25 April 2011 08:39 UK

Syria situation 'not comparable to Libya'

Former Conservative foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has said the United Kingdom is right to support calls for political reform in Syria.

But he told Today presenter Justin Webb that the situation in the country is not comparable to that of Libya, where there was widespread Arab support for a major rebellion, adding "there is no indication that the Arab countries would support military action of any kind against Syria".

Lord Malloch Brown, a former UN deputy secretary general, said he believed that the European Union should look at imposing sanctions on the country, adding that this should be done through the United Nations, so that it "doesn't just look like Europe and America having a go at Syria".

Hundreds of Syrian troops backed by armoured vehicles have been reported close to the southern town of Daraa, as the authorities there continue to clamp down on anti-government protests. In recent days more than 100 people across Syria are said to have died in the violent crackdown.

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