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The Syrian squeeze

The Syrian squeeze Since the start of the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in 2011, dozens of countries have imposed economic sanctions on Syria. The sanctions are one reason Syria's foreign reserves have shrunk and inflation has soared, driving up the prices of basic goods like meat and sugar. Assad's increasingly brutal crackdown on the opposition has led to Syrian ambassadors being expelled and nations withdrawing their diplomats from the restive Middle Eastern state. Although many Western countries have pushed for tougher United Nations economic measures, Russia and China have used their veto power in the UN Security Council to block these measures, saying that diplomacy, not sanctions, is the best way to resolve the conflict. Syria's biggest trading partner, the European Union, has imposed some of the most stringent sanctions, including a ban on importing Syria's biggest export, oil. Countries with economic sanctions on Syria Arab League* European Union Others Algeria Lebanon Tunisia Austria Germany Netherlands Australia Bahrain Libya United Arab Emirates Belgium Greece Poland Canada Bulgaria Cyprus Comoros Mauritania Yemen Hungary Portugal Japan Djibouti Morocco Ireland Romania Norway Egypt Oman Czech Republic Italy Slovakia Switzerland Iraq Palestine Denmark Latvia Slovenia Turkey Jordan Saudi Arabia Estonia Lithuania Spain United States Kuwait Somalia Finland Luxembourg Sweden Qatar Sudan France Malta United Kingdom *Arab League member states are not uniformly enforcing the League's sanctions. Iraq and Lebanon voted against imposing sanctions on Syria. (Interview with Zia Ullah, partner at British law firm Pannone Solicitors and expert on international sanctions, 3/7/2012) Who are Syria's major trading partners? European Union Turkey China Lebanon (4 Irag Saudi Arabia Value of trade and % of total trade in 2010 European Union $8,632m (21.6%) REST OF THE WORLD $14,365m (36.0%) Iraq $5,326m (13.3%) Turkey $2,523m (6.3%) Saudi Arabia $3,596m (9.0%) China $2,619m (6.6%) $2,880m (7.2%) Lebanon What sanctions have Syria's biggest trading partners imposed? Exports of diamonds, Arms trade Investment in Imports of Restrictions on 30% tax on Exports of "dual use goods" such as gas masks and chemicals to Asset freeze goods from Syria with Syria the Syrian oil industry and in power plant construction banned crude oil and and travel ban for certain financial dealings with Syrian government banned precious other petroleum products from Syria banned metals, and Syrian officials luxury goods to Syria banned Syria banned European Union Iraq* Saudi Arabia* Lebanon* China Turkey (none) *Arab League member states are not uniformly enforcing the League's sanctions. Iraq and Lebanon voted against imposing sanctions on Syria. (Interview with Zia Ullah, partner at British law firm Pannone Solicitors and an expert on international sanctions, 3/7/2012) How has Syria's economy been affected by the sanctions? Sanctions are a factor in Syria's shrinking foreign reserves, the depreciation of its currency against the dollar, and inflation. Foreign reserves 2011 2012 $17bn $10bn Syrian Pound exchange rates 70 65 60 55 50 45 Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun 2011 2012 * Inflation in Syria in April 2012 ran at an annualised rate of 31.5 per cent. What do the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council say about sanctions? SUPPORTERS OPPONENTS William Hague, British Foreign Secretary: "We have in place a European Union arms embargo on Syria. We discourage anyone else from supplying arms to Syria. We have had discussions with Russia about that specifically." United Kingdom Liu Weimin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman: "We believe that the international community's actions regarding Syria should be conducive to easing conditions there and conducive to a political solution to the Syrian crisis. China disapproves of the approach of leaning towards sanctions and pressure." China Francois Hollande, French president: "No solution to this crisis is possible without the departure of (President) Bashar al-Assad. I believe that more sanctions are an essential part of a political solution." France Vitaly Churkin, Russian ambassador to the UN: "Our attitude to sanctions frankly continues to be negative." "The weapons we may have provided to Syria under various contracts, which were concluded a long time ago, are fully in line with international law and do not contribute to the current armed violence in Syria." Russia Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State: "We must continue to close off the regime's economic lifelines, expand the circle of countries vigorously implementing sanctions, and prevent the Syrian government from evading them." United States Introduction Reuters - http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/11/syria-economy-idUSL6E8CA50320120111 Countries with economic sanctions on Syria BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15901360 Council Of The European Union - http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/129726.pdf Value of trade and % of total trade in 2010 Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission - http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/september/tradoc_113451.pdf What sanctions have Syria's biggest trading partners imposed? Council Of The European Union - http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/130994.pdf How has Syria's economy been affected by the sanctions? BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17741730 http://www.exchangerate.com/currency-charts/USD/SYP/last-12-months/ International Business Times - http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/351909/20120613/syria-print-new-money-russia-international-sanction.htm What do the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council say about sanctions? Reuters ALJAZEERA BY NO ND Syrian Pound per 1 US Doller

The Syrian squeeze

shared by b_willers on Sep 04
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Diamonds, weapons and oil are at the centre of a sanctions regime targeting the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Publisher

Al Jazeera

Tags

syria

Category

Politics
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