The EU has approved a wave of fresh sanctions against Syria.
The punitive measures agreed between Europe’s foreign ministers in Brussels include a lockdown on Syria’s central bank. Several ministers in President Bashar al Assad’s regime were also targeted.
Leaders also urged Syria’s disparate opposition to unite, though no particular group was given legal recognition.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said:
“It was extremely heartening to hear the views of the Syrian ‘National Council’ and it’s important that we do say they are an interlocutor for us. But others have come to talk to us in Brussels and we continue to do so’‘
The measures are expected to be enforced this week and include a trade ban on gold and other precious metals with Syria, but as our euronews’ Fariba Mavaddat explains: “The foreign ministers mission statement needs to be seen within the limitations set by Russia and China’s veto in the UN. It seems, at least for now, the EU is focusing its efforts on trying to resolve the Syrian crisis knowing military action is not possible under the present circumstances.’‘