On the first day of this March Head of States Summit in Brussels, the European Union “condemns in the strongest term the widespread human rights violations, the killing, mass arrest and torture of civilians, peaceful protestors and their relatives in Syria. “
The International community must avoid a civil war in Syria, the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa commented while entering the European Council. Since March 2011, in response to the continued brutal repression and violation of human rights by the Syrian government, the European Union gradually imposed restrictive measures and sanctions to put pressure on the President Bashar al-Assad government.
The EU banned the purchase of gold, precious metals and diamonds from the country, and banned Syrian cargo flights. The EU also tried to cut the country's supply of equipment for its oil and gas sectors. The EU froze the assets of several Syrian government officials and imposed sanctions on the central bank as well as suspended bilateral cooperation.
The EU also called for the “withdrawal of the Syrian army from besieged towns and cities” and for the protection of civilians. 8 million euros have already been given by the EU in humanitarian assistance and the EU is keen to increase the aids depending on need.
So far, according to activist’s estimation, nearly 7,500 people have been killed in 11 months by the Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The EU believes that time has come to speak with one voice, to demand an end to the bloodshed and call for a democratic future for Syria.