Turkey has decided to impose economic and financial sanctions on the Syrian regime over its bloody crackdown on the opposition, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday. He said the Syrian regime was "at an impasse" and "prefers to repress its people rather than engage in democratic reforms." Davutoglu announced an immediate ban on transactions with the Syrian government and central bank and a freeze on Syrian government assets in Turkey. Similar measures will be taken against "some well-known businessmen who are strong advocates of the Syrian regime," he added. Further measures include a ban on Syrian officials visiting Turkey and halting the transfer of arms and military equipment to the Syrian army. Turkey will also suspend the high-level strategic council mechanism under which a dozen ministers from both countries convened a few times a year to discuss joint projects before the uprising began in March.