Arab Foreign Ministers approve sanctions against Syria

November 27, 2011

The Foreign Ministers Council of the Arab League decided during an extraordinary session in Cairo today to impose economic and travel sanctions against the Syrian government in the face of its continued violence against Syrian civilians. The Foreign Ministers approved recommendations made during an extraordinary session of the Arab Social and Economic Council held in Cairo yesterday, which was attended by Saudi Finance Minister Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf and other Arab economic officials. During that session, the participants discussed ways to utilize sanctions against government officials without harming the Syrian people.

The Foreign Ministers Council decided to immediately halt all transactions with the Syrian Central Bank and all financial and commercial transactions with the Syrian government, except those involving strategic commodities required by the population; to freeze the Syrian government’s assets; and to prohibit Arab central banks from funding any governmental commercial exchanges undertaken by the Syrian Central Bank. The Council approved the formation of a technical executive committee comprised of officials from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Oman and the Arab League Secretariat General to consider exceptions related to the humanitarian needs of Syria and its neighboring countries.

Furthermore, the Council decided to freeze the assets of senior Syrian officials and ban them from traveling to other Arab countries. A technical committee will be tasked with identifying the officials to be targeted.

The Saudi delegation to the extraordinary session was led by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.