Sumario: 1 August 2011, Brussels - Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Commission Vice President issued the following statement today on the extension of restrictive measures against Syrian individuals responsible for and associated with repression, 1st August 2011:
"On 18 July, EU Foreign Ministers declared that until the unacceptable violence against civilians stops and decisive progress is achieved towards fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people for a democratic transition, the EU will pursue its current policy, including sanctions against those responsible for or associated with the violent repression.
Unfortunately, since then mass arrests, violence and the killing of civilians have continued and even escalated, as witnessed during the attacks on Hama and other Syrian cities during the weekend, which reportedly left more than 100 civilians dead. This shows that the Syrian leadership is unwilling to implement the reforms it has promised in response to the legitimate requests of the Syrian people. I condemned in the strongest terms the latest events in my statement yesterday.
Today, the EU has decided to impose further restrictive measures, in the form of an assets freeze and travel ban on five Syrian individuals involved in or associated with the violent repression.
I wish to remind the Syrian authorities of their responsibility to protect the population. The brutal violence creates a serious risk of escalating tension and factional divisions and is not consistent with broad reforms.
I urge the Syrian Government to address the EU's repeated calls for freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, to release all political prisoners without further delay and institute a genuine and inclusive national dialogue.
The EU continues to monitor the situation in Syria closely. It will extend restrictive measures, should the Syrian leadership persist in its current path.
I welcome the fact that the UN Security Council will hold an emergency session later today to address the serious escalation. It is time for the Security Council to take a clear stand on the need to end the violence."