Sanctions on Syria

Media release

25 June 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced new Australian sanctions on Syria, covering trade in oil, petroleum, financial services, telecommunications and precious metals.

The sanctions restrict or prohibit trade between Syria and Australia across entire sectors. They are in addition to Australia’s existing arms embargo and financial and travel sanctions on individuals and entities associated with the Assad regime.

Senator Carr said the sanctions were necessary to increase the pressure on the Assad regime, which has refused to abide by Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan.

“The Assad regime continues to show its unwillingness to negotiate a ceasefire and bring an end to Syria’s bloodshed,” Senator Carr said.

“These sanctions reflect Australia’s condemnation of the Assad regime, and our continued efforts to help bring Syria to the negotiating table.”

Senator Carr said Australia, the European Union and the United States have already imposed sanctions on Syria, and Australia continues to push for unified international action through the United Nations.

Australia would also consider additional humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people.

Australia’s new sanctions would take effect under the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011 to restrict dealings with Syria’s oil, petroleum, and financial sectors; trade in luxury goods, equipment intended for monitoring or intercepting communications, and precious metals and gems.

The list of individuals and groups targeted for financial and travel restrictions would also be expanded, and the existing arms embargo retained.

The decision to expand sanctions also follows Australia’s expulsion of the Syrian ChargĂ© d’affaires on May 27.

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