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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid