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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