Final Statement by the Co-chairs of the International Working Group on Sanctions

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
April 17, 2012

Paris, France

1. The International Working Group on Sanctions held its first meeting in Paris on April, 17th 2012 in the wake of the decisions taken in Istanbul on April 1st during the conference of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People and in Tunis on February 24th. This first meeting was inaugurated by the Minister of State, Alain Juppé and co-chaired by France, Morocco and the EEAS.

2. Reaffirming its support to the Arab League’s plan, the International Working Group on Sanctions underlines the need to exert efficient pressure on the Syrian regime to fully comply with its obligations in accordance with the joint UN and Arab League Envoy Annan plan as well as engage in a political transition that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian People.

3. The International Working Group on Sanctions reiterates the decisions taken in Tunis by the Group of Friends of the Syrian People to undertake restrictive measures against the Syrian regime including :

i- travel bans and freezing of assets of persons associated to the repression in Syria

ii- ban on hydrocarbon imports from Syria

iii- ban on investments in infrastructures in Syria

iv- arms and military equipments embargo for the Syrian regime

v- reduction of diplomatic ties with the Syrian regime

vi- explore measures to limit exports of products used for military purposes.

4. Sanctions are not targeting the civilian population of Syria but aim at increasing pressure on the persons and institutions responsible for the repression and to deprive the regime of the resources it uses for repression. The current economic hardship affecting Syria is caused by the regime’s numerous destructions and its repressive practices which have isolated it and have discouraged economic activity in this country.

5. The International Working Group on Sanctions welcomes the sanctions adopted by the EU, the Arab League, the United States of America, Turkey, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, Croatia, Iceland, Canada, Australia and Japan, and calls upon all States of the group of Friends of the Syrian People and all states that have not yet exerted the necessary pressure to join these efforts and further isolate the Syrian regime. It expresses its firm disapproval of any financial and other support to the Syrian regime and in particular ongoing arms sales.

6. The objective of the International Working Group on Sanctions is to share information on the measures that have been adopted in order to strengthen their efficiency, to explore means for a more effective implementation, to overcome implementation difficulties and to suggest additional measures to be adopted on a voluntary basis. A network of contact points has been set up in this regard. The Group highlights the importance of restrictive measures concerning the banking sector and oil sales.

7. The International Working Group on Sanctions calls upon businessmen who support financially or by any other means the bloody repression to break all their ties with the Al-Assad regime. It asks all Syrians and civil society organizations to publicly dissociate themselves from the human rights violations committed by the Syrian regime that may amount to crimes against humanity. Any person targeted by sanctions who will demonstrate his/her opposition to the bloody repression could be considered for delisting.

8. Once the democratic transition is started, the International Working Group on Sanctions is committed to bring about a swift review of the sanctions regimes in place in order to support the reconstruction of the future Syria in coordination with the working group on Economic recovery and reconstruction cochaired by Germany and the UAE.

9. The International Working Group on Sanctions group will hold its next meeting next month in Washington DC.