EU moves towards ban on Syrian oil sector investment

September 9, 2011 16:48

BRUSSELS - The European Union has moved closer to banning investment in Syria's oil industry as it pushes to raise economic pressure on President Bashar Assad and his government, EU diplomats said on Friday.

Envoys from the EU's 27 capitals have given preliminary agreement for a ban, which would constitute an important step towards hitting Assad's finances and complement the EU's embargo on crude imports from Syria, which took effect last week.

Pending final approval, the investment ban could be put in place in the coming days or weeks.

Europe's new round of sanctions against Syria may also include a ban on Europeans doing business with several firms, such as the country's largest mobile phone company, Syriatel, which provide funds to Assad, the diplomats said.

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