EU restricts luxury exports to Syria in new sanctions
LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union adopted new sanctions against Syria on Monday because of the continued bloodshed in the country despite a 10-day ceasefire, the EU's council of foreign ministers announced.
The new measures announced by the ministers, representing EU governments, would restrict exports to Syria of two types of merchandise: luxury products and certain goods that could be used for repression.
A small group of unarmed observers has been operating in Syria for a week, and the ceasefire has reduced some of the violence, though failed to bring it to a complete halt. Syrian soldiers stormed a town east of Damascus on Sunday and rebels bombed a military convoy in the north of the country.
The U.N. Security Council agreed on Saturday to increase the mission to a 300-strong observer team, part of international mediator Kofi Annan's plan to halt the killing and launch a political dialogue between President Bashar al-Assad and opponents seeking his downfall.
Annan said the Security Council's decision was a "pivotal moment in the stabilization of the country" after more than a year of turmoil in which more than 9,000 people have been killed.
(Reporting By Sebastian Moffett)
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