The European Union (EU) added on Friday Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad to its sanctions list, which targets the government of president Bashar Assad, on the grounds that, as a government minister, he “shares responsibility for the Syrian regime’s violent repression against the Syrian people”.
The move takes the number of officials under EU asset freezes and travel bans to 289, with 70 entities also facing punitive measures.
The sanctions currently in place against the regime were introduced in 2011, in response to the violent repression of the civilian population.
According to the EU: “Companies and prominent business people who benefit from their ties with the regime and from the war economy are also subject to sanctions.
Additional restrictive measures adopted by the EU include a ban on the import of oil, restrictions on certain investments, the freezing of assets held by the Syrian central bank in the EU, and export restrictions on equipment and technology that could be used for internal repression or for the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications.”
Mekdad was appointed as Syria’s top diplomat in November 2020. He replaced Walid Muallem after his death.