First Published: 2012-05-14

 

EU imposes fresh sanctions on Syria: ‘More action to come’

 

European ministers from 27-nation bloc agree to adopt fresh sanctions against Syrian regime, 15th round so far.

 

Middle East Online

‘The ceasefire is not being fully implemented’

BRUSSELS - European Union foreign ministers agreed fresh sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday and warned of more action to come if the regime fails to abide by a ceasefire.

An EU statement said ministers from the 27-nation bloc had agreed at a meeting to adopt "sanctions against the Syrian regime", the 15th round so far.

Asked to detail the measures, an EU diplomat said the ministers had slapped an assets freeze and visa ban on two firms and three people believed to provide funding for the regime.

"The ceasefire is not being fully implemented," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. "There continues to be killing, torture, abuse in Syria. So it's very important we keep the pressure on the Assad regime."

"We must maintain political pressure," agreed Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.

With Syria still engulfed in violence after 14 months of protests, the last round of EU sanctions was adopted barely a month ago, targeting the high-end lifestyle of the Assad clique via a ban on exports of luxury goods.

Ministers also urged a quick deployment of ceasefire observers under the peace plan brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, which the EU sees as the only possible way to avoid all-out civil war in Syria.

"I hope all of them will come in as soon as possible," said Sweden's Carl Bildt. "We do see that that leads to a sort of reduction in violence and repression in areas where they are able to be."

A failure of the Annan plan would be "a rapid descent into sectarian civil war," said Bildt.

"That would be profoundly devastating for Syria and the entire region."

The bloc has offered to help the unarmed observers to monitor a truce brokered by Annan and is expected to finance 25 armoured vehicles to help the mission, EU diplomats said.

Further medical assistance might also be offered.

In all, the EU has blacklisted 126 people and 41 firms or utilities while also freezing central bank assets, banning cargo flights into the EU and restricting trade in gold and precious metals.

 

UN Syria peace talks begin in Geneva

Israel to deny Human Rights Watch visas for being ‘biased’

Iraqi forces enter IS-held west Mosul

Suicide bomb attack on rebels kills 51 near Al-Bab

Marrakesh clinches top ranking of African urban life

UN considers Syria sanctions over chemical attacks

Saudi Comic-Con slammed as ‘sin’ in online backlash

Jordanians protest government price hikes

Baghdad coordinated anti-IS airstrikes with Damascus says source

New Hamas Gaza leader makes first public appearance

Palestinian protestors clash with Israeli soldiers in West Bank

Jordanian F-16 crashes in Saudi, pilot survives

Iraqi PM says air force strikes IS targets in Syria

UN slams light sentence for Israeli soldier

Saudi king seeks investment on rare Asia tour

Saudi minister discusses hajj with Iran

136 Turkish diplomats, soldiers seek German asylum since coup

New Hamas ‘strongman’ could spell fresh Israeli conflict

Suicide car bomb kills eight outside Yemen army base

Fired Turkish academics protest ‘unjust’ dismissals

Iraqi forces jovial after Mosul airport entry

Syrian rebels announce capture of flashpoint town from IS

Iraqi forces enter IS-held Mosul airport

Swedish citizen jailed for IS Facebook post

Somalia names new prime minister

Netanyahu backs pardon for Israel soldier who shot Palestinian

UN envoy meets Syrian rivals, hopes of breakthrough slim

Yemeni government forces pin back rebels on coast

Israeli Supreme Court appoints deeply right-wing judges

Hundreds of Australians protest Netanyahu

Yemen rebel fire kills policeman on Saudi border

UN condemns Israel's new West Bank demolition plans

UN envoy says Russia asked Syria to halt bombing during talks

Bahrain arrests 20, approves military trials for civilians

Israel blocks EU lawmakers from Gaza entry

Syrian migrant on trial in Austria over 20 murders

UN says rapes, killings still blight Darfur

Yemen president says Saudi saving $10 bn for reconstruction

Top Yemen commander killed in missile strike

New Somali president says ability to deal with nation's problems 'limited'

Israel lifts ban on basketball team playing in Turkey

Arab League condemns Israeli soldier’s lenient sentence

Turkey lifts ban on Islamic headscarves in army

Israeli ministry orders removal of Haifa ammonia tank

Iraqi forces ready for assault on Mosul airport