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22 April 2024

EU adopts new sanctions on Syria's top brass


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.

"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 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 organisations.