Officials said the London government was debating proposed sanctions on
Syria's crude oil and natural gas sector.
They said Britain remains a major
client of Syrian energy despite EU efforts to stop the regime of President
Bashar Assad from killing civilian protesters.
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One British firm, Gulfsands
Petroleum, has been exploring and developing Syrian reserves and was said to
have agreed to to share profits with Assad's cousin, financier Rami
Makhlouf, now under Western sanctions.
"We have not taken a decision on oil," British Foreign Office Minister
Alistair Burt said. "Our view is that sanctions must continue to be targeted
on those who support the regime, and sanctions should be considered on the
basis of what will have most effect on changing that situation or improving
the situation of the Syrian people."
The United States has already imposed a boycott on Syria's energy sector
while the EU was divided over the issue. Sweden was said to support a
European boycott while Britain and France were hesitating to support such
action. Officials said the EU was expected to decide the issue in September.