ABU DHABI Nov 17 Syrian bank accounts frozen
abroad are gradually being freed up for use in food purchases,
the head of Syria's General Foreign Trade Organisation (GFTO)
told Reuters on Sunday, with France being the most committed to
releasing the funds.
The European Union, United States and other Western
countries have imposed sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad's
government over his crackdown on the revolt in his country, but
these do not apply to food.
The Union De Banques Arabes Francaises (UBAF) has approved
the release of funds for purchases, Tarek al Taweel, Director
General of GFTO, said over the telephone.
"UBAF bank in France has been very cooperative," Taweel
France in September cleared the use of frozen Syrian bank
assets to fund the export of food to the country as part of a
European Union system that allows such funds to be used for
(Reporting By Maha El Dahan; editing by Keiron Henderson)