EU Bans Oil Investments in Syria

The European Union widened sanctions against Syria on Friday, banning new investments in the oil sector and prohibiting the delivery of bank notes to the Syrian central bank.

"The EU restrictive measures are designed to have maximum impact on the Syrian regime, while minimizing any potential negative impacts on the Syrian population," said EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton.

The EU also added two individuals and six companies to a list of people and entities facing an assets freeze and travel ban, a diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

The new punitive measures will come into force on Saturday.

It is the seventh set of sanctions imposed by the EU to punish the regime of President Bashar Assad for its relentless crackdown on protesters.

Earlier this month, the EU adopted a ban on crude oil imports expected to hit hard at Damascus as the EU buys 95 percent of Syria's oil exports, providing a third of the regime's hard currency earnings.

Source: Agence France Presse

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