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Syria - EU Foreign Affairs Council Adopts New Sanctions

Published on January 26, 2012
Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign and European Spokesperson

Paris, January 25, 2012

While the bloody crackdown by the Syrian regime - which has led to the death of more than 500 people since the deployment of the Arab League observer mission - is continuing, and following the rejection by Damascus of the plan to resolve the crisis put forward by the Arab League at the ministerial meeting on Sunday, the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted, on January 23, further sanctions in order increase the pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

These new sanctions target 21 military and security officials involved in the crackdown, a businessman providing support to pro-regime “Shabiha” militia groups, 5 banks and 3 oil companies that are financing the regime.

108 individuals and 38 entities are now subject to European sanctions. Syria is also subject to the European embargo on arms and oil imports from its territory.

These sanctions aim to force the Damascus regime to put an end to the crackdown by depriving it of the financial resources that it is using to fund its security apparatus and its private militia groups. They also target the individuals and companies that are directly participating in the crackdown or are providing financial support to the regime in order to persuade them to distance themselves from Bashar al-Assad, who has lost all legitimacy.

The EU’s message is clear:

- the crackdown must end.

- the Europeans will not yield in the face of the brutal crackdown being imposed by the Damascus regime against its population.

Do you confirm that a new draft resolution on Syria based on the Arab League plan will be presented to the Security Council next week?

The UN Security Council must lend its support to the courageous decisions taken by the Arab League which is assuming its full responsibilities in order to put an end to the crackdown and the violence in Syria and to find a solution to the political crisis in this country. That is France’s objective in the discussions under way in New York. As such, our objective remains the adoption of a resolution.

The discussions under way at the UN Security Council on Syria must enable the latter to support and strengthen the Arab initiative by providing it with the international guarantees needed to put it into effect.

The Arab League ministers decided to inform the Security Council that they would take action to seek the latter’s support for the Arab League plan. Given the urgency of the situation, France would like this meeting to take place as soon as possible.

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