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EU Tightens Sanctions on Syria

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EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to tighten sanctions on Syria, further upping the pressure on President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The 27-member bloc’s existing arms embargo will be enforced with new requirements to search airplanes and ships suspected of carrying weapons into Syria.

“It is important to carry on the sanctions and it is very important to carry on with the political process,” said Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs. It is the 17th time that the EU has slapped sanctions on Syria since the uprising against the Assad family’s four decade rule began last year.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “disappointed and appalled” by Russia and China vetoing a tough new UN resolution against the Syrian government at the Security Council.

“I think that events over the weekend including the escalating death toll and the spreading of violence to other parts of Syria show how necessary that resolution was,” he told reporters.

The 27 countries also imposed asset freezes and travel bans on a further 26 people, and banned EU companies from doing business with three more Syrian firms.

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