Syrian foreign minister Faisal Mekdad targeted by EU sanctions
Hundreds of Syrian officials are on Europe blacklist
The EU has imposed sanctions on Syrian foreign minister Faisal Mekdad for his role in the “violent repression” of civilians under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Mr Mekdad was named as the country’s foreign minister last November after the death of his predecessor Walid Al Moalem.
The EU sanctions will freeze Mr Mekdad’s assets in the EU and prevent him from travelling to Europe.
The decision brings to 289 the total number of Syrian officials on the EU blacklist.
“The sanctions currently in place against the Syrian regime were introduced in 2011, in response to the violent repression of the Syrian civilian population,” the EU said in a statement.
Brussels began slapping sanctions on the Syrian authorities in 2011 over the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
The war that has torn apart the country has now killed more than 387,000 people and displaced millions.
“Companies and prominent business people who benefit from their ties with the regime and from the war economy are also subject to sanctions,” the EU said.
Further sanctions imposed by the EU on the Syrian regime include a ban on oil imports, a freezing of assets held by Syria’s central bank in the EU and export restrictions on equipment and technology.
Mr Mekdad was Mr Moalem’s deputy and, like his boss, he championed the crushing of peaceful protests against the regime, which started in 2011 in the southern province of Deraa.
Mr Mekdad was also the country’s representative at the UN in New York.
He rose in the regime’s ranks before his appointment as foreign minister last year.
Updated: January 15, 2021 11:42 PM