BRUSSELS - European Union governments agreed on Monday to impose additional financial sanctions on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad over a crackdown on pro-democracy protests, an EU diplomat said.
The new measures include a ban on long-term financial support for trade, excluding food and medicine, and on loans to the government, both bilateral and through international financial institutions.
Under the new measures, to be approved formally by EU foreign ministers on Thursday, EU companies will also be prohibited from trading in Syrian state debt.
Banks from Syria will also be banned from opening branches in EU countries or investing in European banks.
"All these measures are aimed at cutting off the financial flows to the Syrian government," said the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The decision will also extend the list of people, institutions and companies targeted by EU asset freezes and travel bans by 12 persons and at least 11 entities.