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Monday, May 9, 2011     GET REAL

EU sanctions, like those by U.S. target members of Syria regime but not Assad

LONDON — The European Union has imposed sanctions on Syria that spared President Bashar Assad.


The EU agreed to impose sanctions on 14 senior members of the Assad regime, Middle East Newsline reported. The sanctions, proposed on May 6, were meant to target officials responsible for the bloody Syrian crackdown on the opposition.

"There will be a decision any day now," an official said.

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The official did not identify the targets of the sanctions, but said they were similar to those cited by the United States in late April. On April 30, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Assad's brother, Maher, Syrian industrialist Rami Makhlouf and the president's cousin Atef Najib.

Assad himself would be spared sanctions. The Syrian defense minister, Ali Habibi, responsible for the military, was also not included.

The EU sanctions would not spark major changes in European relations with Damascus. The official said the 14 unidentified Syrians would be restricted from traveling in the 27 EU states and their assets could be frozen.

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