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Syria & EU
Syria & EU

New EU Sanctions on Syria

(DP-News - agencies) BRUSSELS- The European Union today added 22 people and eight organizations to its Syria sanctions list. No details were immediately available on the identities of the new targets.

“The EU will continue its policy of imposing additional measures against the regime, not to the civilian population, as long as repression continues,” it said in a statement.
EU foreign ministers adopted fresh sanctions against Syria's military brass on Monday, targeting a large number of security officials on a new list of people and firms hit by a travel ban and asset freeze.

Ministers targeted 22 people and eight companies in this 11th round of EU sanctions to protest the ongoing repression in Syria, said a diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"We call again for the violence to stop, for the (Arab League) monitors to be able to do their job unheeded," said European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton as she went into talks with the EU's 27 foreign ministers.
"We're deeply concerned with the situation in Syria," she added. "There needs to be a peaceful transition in that country."

The European Union on Monday threw its weight behind an Arab League plan for a transitional government in Syria leading to elections, an attempt to end the violent repression by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she had spoken to Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby and backed the call for the establishment of a national unity government in Syria within two months.

Britain and Germany also came out in defense of the Arab League approach and the need to resume action as soon as possible at the U.N. Security Council.
“We will push for the EU to support the Arab League’s action” and to call for the U.N. Security Council to get involved, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. “The issue belongs in the Security Council as the highest guardian of international peace.”
EU nations were hoping the Arab League would put proposals before the United Nations.
The Arab League called for the establishment of a national Syrian unity government within two months, including government and opposition members and led by a consensus leader.

The mandate of this government, said the statement, is to prepare for free parliamentary and presidential elections to be held under Arab and international supervision.
It also provides for Assad to give his vice president full powers to cooperate with the proposed government to enable it to carry out its duties during a transitional period.
“Of particular significance is an approach that is reminiscent to the approach of the (Gulf Cooperation Council) in Yemen, looking to see the transfer to a vice president, the appointment of an envoy — Nabil is looking how to achieve that — and also to go the Security Council to seek support for those in initiatives,” Ashton said.

The EU has already agreed 10 rounds of sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, with some 120 people and companies targeted so far by an assets freeze and travel ban.
It is also enforcing an arms embargo and a ban on imports of Syrian crude oil.
In December, it expanded its sanctions list to include Syria's finance and economy ministers, state-owned oil companies and two media organizations.
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