EU tightens sanctions against Syria
The European Union (EU) on Monday stepped up restrictive measures against Syria over "the Syrian regime's continued use of violence against civilians."
According to a conclusion adopted by the EU Foreign Minister who met in Brussels, trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with Syrian public bodies and the central bank would no longer be permitted, Xinhua reported.
Cargo flights operated by Syrian carriers would no longer have access to EU airports, with the exception of mixed passenger and cargo flights.
The 27-member bloc also froze the assets of the Syrian central bank within the EU, but said legitimate trade could continue under strict conditions.
Meanwhile, seven ministers of the Syrian government who are associated with the human rights violations were subjected to asset freezes and visa bans.
"Today's decisions will put further pressure on those who are responsible for the ruthless campaign of repression in Syria," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said after the meeting.
"The measures target the regime and its ability to conduct the appalling violence against civilians. As long as the repression continues, the EU will keep imposing sanctions," she said.