Paris, August 24, 2011
Yesterday, as we wanted, the European Union adopted a fifth round of sanctions against 15 individuals and five entities involved in the crackdown in Syria.
This decision is in line with the conclusions adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council since May 2011, and particularly those adopted on 18 July, which raised the prospect of further sanctions if the regime did not put an end to the crackdown against the population and did not respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people for a democratic transition process.
In all, since the first round of European sanctions on 9 May, 50 individuals associated with the crackdown have been subjected to sanctions, as well as nine entities involved in financing it. All individuals and entities, including economic ones, which lend financial support to the crackdown being perpetrated by the Syrian regime could be subject to sanctions.
Furthermore, as the High Representative indicated in her statement on 18 August, the adoption of further sanctions – particularly in the key oil and gas sector – is under discussion at European level.
The continued crackdown in Syria is intolerable. We condemn in particular the arrest yesterday evening of Mohammed Issam Zaaloul, the organizer of a peaceful Syrian Lawyers for Freedom sit-in in central Damascus. We call for his immediate release as well as the release of all political prisoners.
France is more determined than ever to do everything in her power to stop the bloodshed in Syria and pave the way for the democratic transition the Syrian people are calling for./.