EU Lifts Embargo on Syria’s Oil to Help Oppo­si­tion

ARA New

Mem­ber states of the EU decided on Mon­day to ease the embargo on the Syr­ian oil, and agreed on allow­ing the oppo­si­tion to sell crude. Accord­ing to the EU, this step is meant to sup­port the Syr­ian oppo­si­tion in its two-​year-​old strug­gle against the régime of Bashar al-​Assad.

“The deci­sion was made to help the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion,” fore­gin min­is­ters stated dur­ing a meet­ing held in Lux­em­bourg on Monday.

 

From now on, Euro­pean com­pa­nies will be able to import petro­leum and oil prod­ucts from Syr­ian areas dom­i­nated basi­cally by the oppo­si­tion. The Syr­ian National Coali­tion, the main oppo­si­tion body, will be respon­si­ble for the approval of each transaction.

The EU deci­sion fol­lowed a wide crit­i­cism by the Syr­ian oppo­si­tion to the group of Friends of Syria –formed by EU and US– dur­ing a meet­ing held by the group’s mem­bers in Turkey on Sun­day. The oppo­si­tion claimed that the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity is still reluc­tant to take any seri­ous steps con­cern­ing the ongo­ing cri­sis in Syria, and demanded the mem­bers to pro­vide Syr­ian rebels with weapons. How­ever, the inter­na­tional pow­ers who allegedly sup­port the Syr­ian people’s cause have repeat­edly expressed their fears con­cern­ing a poten­tial empow­er­ment of jihadist groups in Syria in a case of sup­ply­ing weapons to the rebels. 

“The secu­rity sit­u­a­tion is so dif­fi­cult that much of this will be dif­fi­cult to do, but it is impor­tant for us to send the sig­nal that we are open to help­ing in other ways,” said Willian Hague, UK For­eign Minister.

Euro­pean gov­ern­ments will start to grad­u­ally ease the embargo imposed on Syr­ian prod­ucts, and autho­rise trans­ac­tions includ­ing imports of petro­leum and oil prod­ucts and invest­ment in the oil indus­try in Syria.

In Sep­tem­ber 2011, the EU imposed the first sanc­tions on Syria’s oil indus­try in a reac­tion to the Syr­ian régime’s crack­down on the anti-​Assad protesters.

Being allowed to sell crude to the Euro­pean states, the Syr­ian oppo­si­tion will have an effi­cient finan­cial resource that can provde the rebels with the basic needs and con­tribute thus to accel­er­ate the down­fall of the Assad régime, accord­ing to activists. 

Source: ARA News

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