EU Sanctions on Syrian Oil Exports

British Foreign Minister William Hague said in a conference in Poland on Saturday that the European Union is capable of strengthening sanctions on Syria after deciding to impose sanctions on the country’s oil exports.

"They are very significant sanctions, they affect 25 percent of the revenue of the Syrian regime, so these area very substantial sanctions and they come on top of five previous rounds of sanctions, of assets freezes and travel bans on individuals in Syria who we believe are responsible for the violence that is taking place. So these are serious measures and I believe they will be taken very seriously by the Syrian regime. That does not of course preclude further measures being taken in the future there will be ways of further increasing that pressure in the future," said Hague.

However, he did say that it was possible for President Bashar al-Assad to look elsewhere to export oil.

On Friday, Syrian security forces shot at anti-government demonstrators in Douma, a suburb of the capital, Damascus, according to footage uploaded on a social media website.

Al Arabiya cannot independently verify the footage, as Syria has banned foreign media in the country.

Mass protests erupted in various rural areas, due to the heavy presence of army forces in urban towns, according to activists.

International pressure continues to grow on the Syrian president while violent protest crackdowns evidently persist. Various rights groups estimate the death toll to over 2000.

Speaker:

William Hague - British Foreign Minister

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