September 6, 2011 / 1:36 PM / 9 years ago

EU pushing new round of Syria sanctions - France

PARIS (Reuters) - The European Union is working on a new round of sanctions against Syria that would target economic entities, the French foreign ministry said Tuesday, days after the bloc imposed its last punitive measure.

“We are working with our partners on a seventh round of sanctions that would target economic entities,” ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

The EU imposed a ban on purchases of Syrian oil on September 3, increasing pressure on President Bashar al-Assad’s government to end its five-month crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

Valero said the new sanctions would look at targeting entities that enable the “daily repression” against civilians.

The latest sanctions marked the first time Europe has targeted Syrian industry to try to stem the violence, which killed another 10 people Monday. So far more than 2,200 people have been killed, according to the United Nations.

“We hope to have it (sanctions) done as quickly as possible because repression continues and ... we want to bring the Damascus regime to stop this race for repression that is leading us nowhere and sending Syria each day into mourning,” he said.

Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the EU was working on a new sanctions round targeting people providing economic support for the government but details were being worked out.

“The aim is to put additional pressure on the regime, not just politically but economically, to try to cut off the economic resources the regime has,” she said.

Reporting by John Irish and David Brunnstrom in Brussels; editing by Elizabeth Piper

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