Syrian energy next sanctions target?

Aug. 5, 2011 at 7:21 AM

BRUSSELS, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- European diplomats alluded to the possibility that more sanctions could be brought against the Syrian energy sector as the crackdown continues, a source said.

The U.N. Security Council issued a statement this week condemning Syria for its crackdown on anti-government demonstrators. Some members, like the United States, pressed for a resolution though opponents said they were concerned about the possibility of creating a protracted crisis like the one in Libya.

A diplomat in the European Union familiar with the talks at the United Nations said there were proposals circulated that included diplomatic language alluding to the Syrian energy sector.

"At least one member state spoke of the possibility of enlarging sanctions in future to much broader economic measures," a source told the EUobserver. "The words 'oil' and 'gas' were not mentioned. But this was an allusion to the oil and gas area."

Syria exports crude oil to European countries. The 150,000 barrels of crude exported each day provides Damascus with around 30 percent of its federal revenue.

Security Council members said they would review the status of the Syrian crisis next week.

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