France: EU will "probably" agree new Syria sanctions on Thursday
The European Union will "probably" agree on new sanctions against Syria at a foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels Thursday, according to the French foreign ministry, dpa reported.
"I can confirm that discussions are taking place in Brussels and that decisions concerning the adoption of new sanctions will probably be taken by the 27 EU foreign ministers," ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters in Paris on Tuesday.
Valero was reacting to reports in Paris and Brussels that the EU was preparing new punitive measures against Bashar al-Assad's regime over its bloody crackdown on protesters demanding his overthrow.
The United Nations says more than 3,500 people have been killed in the crackdown since March.
The EU, in previous rounds of sanctions, has already banned investment in the Syrian oil industry, hit dozens of regime members with travel bans and frozen their assets and banned several Syrian companies from doing business in the EU.
The Arab League imposed unprecedented economic sanctions on Syria at the weekend, after al-Assad ignored a deadline to implement a peace plan to end the violence.