The European Union Council on Monday added seven Syrian to its sanctions blacklist for being responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population in Syria, benefiting from or supporting the regime, and/or being associated with such persons.
“The Council today added seven ministers of the government of Syria to the list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters,” the Council said in a statement.
The blacklisted ministers are: Major General Mohammad Khaled al-Rahmoun (Minister of Interior), Mohammad Rami Radwan Martini (Minister of Tourism), Imad Muwaffaq al-Azab (Minister of Education), Bassam Bashir Ibrahim (Minister of Higher Education), Suhail Mohammad Abdullatif (Minister of Public Works and Housing), Iyad Mohammad al-Khatib(Minister of Communications and Technology), and Mohammad Maen Zein-al-Abidin Jazba (Minister of Industry).
The designated ministers, who were appointed to Assad’s new government in November, will be denied access to Europe and will have their assets frozen.
"The EU will continue to consider further restrictive measures against Syria as long as the repression continues," the statement noted.
"The EU remains committed to finding a lasting and credible political solution to the conflict in Syria as defined in the UN Security Council resolution 2254 and in the 2012 Geneva Communiqué," it added.
The decision brings to 277 the number of persons blacklisted by the EU for their links to the Assad regime.
In addition, 72 entities are targeted by an asset freeze in view of the situation in Syria. More broadly, EU sanctions currently in place against Syria also include: an oil embargo, restrictions on trade and investment, a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank within the EU, export restrictions on arms, weapons, equipment that might be used for internal repression as well as on equipment and technology for the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications.
The sanctions concerning the situation in Syria have been in place since 1 December 2011 and are reviewed on an annual basis; the next review is due by 1st June 2019.