EU to Extend Syria Sanctions for Three Months

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The European Union agreed Wednesday to extend its sanctions against President Bashar Assad's regime for a further three months, EU diplomats told AFP.

The decision will be formally adopted Thursday when ministers from the 27-nation bloc gather for talks.

"There was an agreement to extend the sanctions by three months as the measures were only valid until Friday, November 30," said an EU source speaking on condition of anonymity.

The EU has imposed 19 rounds of sanctions against the Damascus regime since the eruption of anti-Assad revolts in March last year, including a wide range of trade and financial measures as well as an arms embargo.

And 54 companies and 181 people, including members of Assad's inner circle, are on an EU blacklist, subjected to an assets freeze and travel ban.

France has raised the idea of excluding defensive weapons from the current arms embargo on Syria to help rebels fighting, but it does not have unanimous support for this from its EU partners.

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