The European Council has decided to extend European Union sanctions against the Assad regime until at least June 1, 2019, the institution’s press service reported on May 28.
The decision to do so was made in line with the general EU policy regarding Syria due to “the ongoing repression of the civilian population by the regime and its supporters,” the statement reads.
The updated sanctions list currently includes 259 persons and 67 entities targeted by a travel ban and an asset freeze, particularly in retaliation for their roles in the use of chemical weapons against the civilians.
“More broadly, sanctions currently in place against Syria include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments, a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU, export restrictions on equipment and technology that might be used for internal repression as well as on equipment and technology for the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications,” the Council said.
The EU stressed that it remains committed to finding a lasting and credible political solution in Syria as defined in the UN Security Council resolution 2254 and in the 2012 Geneva Communiqué. It also reaffirmed its strong support for the work of the UN Special Envoy and the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.
In mid-May, the United States and Arab Gulf states announced they were slamming new sanctions on the Lebanese Hezbollah leadership, an ally of Assad, targeting its Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and his deputy Naim Qassem. The Syrian Coalition described the decision as an important step to limit the influence of Hezbollah militia as it has been involved in the killings against the Syrian people.
Secretary-General of the Syrian Coalition, Nazir al-Hakim, called on the international community to tighten the screws on the Assad regime as he stressed the need to activate the mechanism to prosecute war criminals and violators of international resolutions in Syria, chiefly among them is Bashar al-Assad. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)