Syria: Asma Assad to be added to EU sanction list as Russia denies arrival of warships

Published March 20th, 2012 - 07:30 GMT
Assad couple
Assad couple

The wife of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Asma, will be included in the "black list" drawn up by the European Union following the repression of the opposition in Syria, reported Tuesday the Daily Telegraph, citing diplomatic sources.

"The names of some members of the Assad family will be added to the list," said the source.

The newspaper said the extension of the "black list" should be approved at the next meeting of European foreign ministers scheduled for 23 March in Brussels.

European assets of persons subject to EU sanctions will be frozen, while their owners are prohibited from entering the territory of EU member countries. At the same time, these restrictions will not prevent the Syrian first lady to visit the UK as Mrs. Assad was born in London and holds British citizenship.

According to the Daily Telegraph, European diplomats have decided to add Mrs. Assad to the list of sanctioned individuals following the recent publication by the Guardian newspaper of several emails sent by the Assad couple. According to the Guardian, these mails, whose total number amounted to more than 3,000, were intercepted by the Supreme Council of the the Syrian Revolution, an opposition group to Assad's regime.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Ministry of Defense denied reports relayed by some media channels that Russian warships have docked in the port of Tartous, said Tuesday the national news agency SANA. "This information is unfounded. It was reported as part of the hostile campaign led by some countries to trigger a military intervention in Syria," said a source within the ministry.

On Monday night, the Russian Defense Ministry also denied the presence of its warships off the Syrian coast. The Russian military department stressed that only a tanker anchored for two days in the port of Tartous. This ship is responsible for the supply of needs by Russian ships involved in an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden. 

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