Swiss widen sanctions against Syria

Switzerland has toughened its sanctions against Syria, banning the import, purchase and transport of petrol from the country.

This content was published on September 23, 2011 minutes and agencies

The measures, which come into force on Saturday, bring Switzerland in line with European Union sanctions. It will also be illegal to fund or provide insurance or reinsurance services linked to petrol supplies.

The government said the move followed Syrian “security forces’ relentless repression of the population”. The European sanctions will have a strong impact as most Syrian exports go to the EU. Switzerland however has not imported Syrian oil since 2005, so the embargo should not affect its own supplies.  

Existing measures include an embargo on military equipment and goods that could be used in the government crackdown, financial sanctions and travel restrictions on 54 people and 12 companies. Assets worth around SFr45 million ($50 million) have been frozen.

Also on Friday, Switzerland confirmed the lifting of sanctions that had been taken against three Libyan firms: the National Oil Corporation, Zweitina Oil Corporation and Afriquiyah Airways.  

Assets for the companies had been frozen in line with United Nations sanctions, which were lifted on September 16.

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