The European Union added seven ministers in the Syrian government to the sanctions list, which includes both individuals and agencies who have had restrictive measures taken against them and are close to or cooperating with the current regime president, Bashar al-Assad. The list now includes 277 people who are subject to sanctions related to travel bans and freezing assets, for their role in acts of violent repression against Syrian civilians, or for benefiting from Syrian regime support or for their connection to the regime in one form or another.
There are also 72 entities on the sanctions list, which includes, as well as bans and asset freezes, an oil embargo and restrictions on trade and investment, and a freeze on Syrian Central Bank assets inside the European Union, and restrictions imposed on the export of weapons and equipment, which could be used for internal repression, and equipment and technology which could be used to monitor or intercept phone and internet communications.
The European Union has been reviewing the sanctions imposed on the Syrian regime and those close to it on an annual basis since December 2011, and the next review of these sanctions will take place in June.
The seven ministers are: Interior Minister Mohammad Khaled al-Rahmoun, Tourism Minister Mohammad Rami Radwan Martini, Education Minister Imad Muwaffaq al-Azab, Higher Education Minister Bassam Bashir Ibrahim, Minister of Housing and Public Works Suhail Mohammad Abdullatif, Communications Minister Iyad Mohammad al-Khatib, and Industry Minister Mohammad Maen Zein-al-Abidin Jazba.
The European statement from Brussels said, “The EU remains committed to finding a lasting and credible political solution to the conflict in Syria as defined in the UN Security Council resolution 2254 and in the 2012 Geneva Communiqué.”
The new sanctions went into effect after the names of the Syrian ministers included were published in the European official gazette.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.