European Union imposes arms embargo on Syria

AP News
Posted: May 09, 2011 5:14 PM
European Union imposes arms embargo on Syria

The European Union imposed an arms embargo Monday on Syria, where the government is conducting a violent and sometimes lethal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

The EU is banning the shipment to Syria of "arms and equipment that could be used for internal repression," an EU statement said late Monday.

The EU also is prohibiting 13 Syrian "officials and associates of the Syrian regime" from traveling anywhere in the 27-nation union, and is freezing their assets, the statement said. The 13 have been identified as being responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population, it said.

An EU official said late last week that Syrian President Bashar Assad would not be among those sanctioned. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in exchange for disclosing confidential information. The EU will publish the names of those sanctioned in its official journal Tuesday.

EU envoys recommended the visa ban and assets freeze Friday, but Monday's decision by all member governments was required for formal approval.

Assad's regime appears determined to crush the uprising by force and intimidation, and rights groups say hundreds of civilians have been killed since the unrest began.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects "Libya" to "Syria" in the second paragraph.)