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Potential Republican party presidential contender Tim Pawlenty wants the U.S. to recall its ambassador to Syria ( pictured right) and seek economic sanctions to send “a clear and strong signal” opposing the nation’s violent crackdown on demonstrators.

In a written statement Friday, the former Minnesota governor also pressed President Barack Obama to seek a formal condemnation from the United Nations Security Council.

At least 75 people were killed Friday when Syrian security forces fired bullets and tear gas at protesters. It was the bloodiest day of a month-long uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Obama is condemning the latest use of force against anti-government demonstrators and says the regime’s “outrageous” use of violence against the protesters must “end now.”

Pawlenty is among several Republicans considering a bid to challenge Obama’s re-election next year. AP

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