Monday, May 23, 2011

Spain cedes and the EU approves sanctions against Bashar Assad

Having overcome the reluctance of Spain, among others, the foreign ministers of the EU formally agreed today to punish the Syrian President Bashar Assad. Twenty should veto the entry and freeze any account or property in his name. Although he had agreed to punish the president's environment and impose an arms embargo for weeks, the Spanish, traditionally close to Damascus, refused to attack also Asad.

Today, the Minister Trinidad Jimenez was still among the least critical and avoided calling for the resignation of the Syrian president. "We want the President Asad address the claims that people are throwing in the street and stop the repression ... It feels to talk to representatives of the opposition and to initiate a process of reforms," the minister said Jimenez come to the meeting with colleagues in Brussels.

The brutal repression is convincing Syria to the EU, which for years has been too soft with the abuses of Damascus. So far, only one had dared to threaten the regime for its alleged involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. In 2005, the European ministers adopted a declaration to freeze the accounts and not give visas to those suspected of the killing of Hariri, but after five years of confusing research, the EU still does not fill the page of Annex waiting list empty names.

European diplomatic sources insist on the meaning of punishment "gradual" for Syria, as before for the regimes of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. "Sanctions are not an end in itself. They have to serve as pressure," he said on Friday one of the leaders of the blacklist. As recognized by several ministers, European diplomatic sanctions have had little effect in most cases.

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