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EU imposes sanctions on eight more Syria government ministers

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C) chairs a meeting of the new cabinet in Damascus, Syria, on September 2, 2020. (Photo by Syria's official news agency SANA)

The European Union has imposed sanctions on eight more ministers recently appointed to the Syrian government, in what is the latest round of economic bans that the bloc has slapped against 280 businesses, individuals, and other entities affiliated with President Bashar al-Assad’s administration.

The EU's official journal on Friday added the names of Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Bassam Tou’ma, Minister of Industry Ziyad Sabbagh, Agriculture Minister Mohammed Hassan Qatana, Minister of Health Hassan Ghabache and three ministers of state Mohamad Fayez Barcha, Malloul Hussein and Mohamad Samir Haddad to the sanctions blacklist.

The decision by the EU’s 27 member countries bans the ministers from traveling to Europe and will see their assets frozen.

Back on October 16, the EU had imposed sanctions on Syrian Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection Talal al-Barazi, Culture Minister Loubana Mouchaweh, Education Minister Darem Taba’a, Justice Minister Ahmad Sayyed, Minister of Hydraulic and Water Resources Tammam Ra’ad, Finance Minister Kinan Yaghi as well as Minister of Transport Zuhair Khazim.

EU sanctions on the Syrian government have been in force since December 2011. They are subject to annual review.

Speaking at a UN Security Council session via video conference on October 27, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar al-Ja’afari censured the US and the European Union for their economic terrorism against the people of the war-ravaged Arab country.

He noted that the Western restrictions come in clear disregard for international law and the UN Charter.

The Syrian diplomat also underlined that the US and its allies have defied calls from the UN chief and the UN human rights council for the lifting of such restrictive measures, particularly at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The US administration and the European Union continue their economic terrorism against Syria through imposing unilateral coercive measures aiming to tighten the noose around the civilians and deprive them from food, medicine and essential medical supplies along with preventing reconstruction process and the return of the displaced,” Ja’afri was quoted as saying by Syria's official news agency SANA.

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