NEW YORK, Sept. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC welcomed the European Union's decision to ban the purchase and import of oil and other petroleum products from Syria, effective today.
The step was taken in response to the brutal repression of protests in Syria that began six months ago and has resulted in the deaths of thousands, with many more arrested, imprisoned and tortured.
"This is a particularly important action," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Syrian oil exports head almost exclusively to Europe and constitute an estimated one-quarter of the country's income. Thus, the EU ban will bite, sending a strong message of the revulsion felt in the face of President Assad's unrelenting violence against his own people."
"We know the ban may cause some temporary, if minor, disruption in a few EU countries, but other sources of oil are readily available today and should quickly fill the gap," Harris added. "Meanwhile, the EU has sent a powerful message of resolve. That message will surely be noted in Assad's coterie, while no doubt further strengthening the determination of those who, at risk to their own lives, have courageously challenged the despotic regime."
Since the onset of the protests in Syria, AJC has consistently called for international action to isolate the regime; increase the political, diplomatic and economic costs to President Assad; expose Iran's military support for Syria; bolster the opposition; and condemn Syrian actions in the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee