Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Verhofstadt: EU must extend sanctions to Syrian oil businesses

“Since the beginning of the peaceful demonstrations against the regime in Syria, over 1.600 civilians have been killed, 12 thousand arrested, 3 thousand have disappeared and around 13 thousand found shelter in Lebanon and Turkish camps. This proves what we have been repeating for the last four months: simple messages of condemnation by the international and European Community and current sanctions will not be able to stop Al-Assad continuing his brutal slaughter." said ALDE Group President Guy Verhofstadt following yesterday's Syrian regime further military assault, in Hama, against harmless population claiming over 100 victims.  

That's why, by reacting to today's news that the EU will further beef up sanctions against Syria, Verhofstadt said: "We need to hit as hard as possible on the regime's source of finance. Among the new targets to sanction, the EU should also include Syrian businesses accomplice of financing the repression, like oil companies. For instance, listing also the two state-owned oilcompanies Syria Petroleum Corporation (SPC) and Sytrol would significantly deprive the regime of its daily revenues, since 90 percent of Syrian oil exports are exported to the EU – and market conditions do not favour easy substitution of other arrangements." 

More on the effectiveness of sanctions against Syria’s oil industry can be found on Openoil.net.

"Moreover, the EU must continue to do its upmost to bring the UN to come up now with a much stronger resolution." concluded Verhofstadt, referring to today's UN emergency meeting on the situation in Syria.”

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