News / Middle East

EU Eases Syria Sanctions to Help Opposition

FILE - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, April 6, 2013.
FILE - EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, April 6, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
European Union foreign ministers have agreed to ease an oil embargo against Syria to help rebel forces fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar el-Assad. The move follows a decision by the United States to dramatically increase aid to the Syrian opposition.

Speaking to reporters in Luxembourg, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the bloc's agreement to ease an oil embargo against Syria will help the opposition Syrian National Coalition take advantage of oil and gas reserves under its control.

"Three types of transactions will now be possible: imports of oil and petroleum products; exports of key equipment and technology for the oil and gas industry; and investments in the Syrian oil industry. We've made the energy our priority to ensure the changes have a rapid impact," said Ashton.

The decision by the EU foreign ministers comes a day after Secretary of State John Kerry announced the United States would double to $250 million its nonlethal assistance to Syria's opposition forces.

Speaking after Monday's meeting, British Foreign Secretary William Hague acknowledged that more needed to be done to help the Syrian opposition.

"It is a tragedy that we've not been able to agree a U.N. Security Council resolution to require a political process to take place," said Hague. "We will keep working on that. But in the absence of that, as we have been discussing here today and as I have been arguing, we will need to do more to support the National Coalition, to protect people in Syria, to save lives in Syria, to support the opposition."

Britain and France have also been pushing to lift an EU embargo against arming Syria's rebellion. The current embargo is set to expire at the end of May. But some EU countries like Germany are reluctant to arm the rebels, fearing the weapons could fall into the wrong hands. Those reservations were aired again Monday by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Westerwelle says Germany has serious concerns the arms could end up in the hands of terrorists. But he said if other European countries reach their own conclusions that go in a different direction, Germany will respect this.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: PAKISTAN
April 22, 2013 11:03 PM
We are investing OR wasting so much funds from tax payer money with one object TO CHANGE REGIME.Any body has any formula or solution to solve those uncontrolled problem after fall of current govt. Whether Syrian peoples will get better standard of living when Moaz & Co will control affairs of Syria. If any body thinks that expenditure of future govt for their luxury and safety of life will be less than current govt, he is baby if he thinks so. I can predict that future govt will take more care for their luxury than to provide BASIC NEEDS OFLIFE to poor syrian peoples.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid