Activists push European Union to widen sanctions against Syria to include further businessmen - Austrian-Syrian businessman responds

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Article
24 June 2011

EU extends sanctions against Syria

Author: Sinead O'Carroll, Business & Leadership [Ireland]

According to the Official Journal of the EU, the latest restrictions...[include]: Riyad Chalice...a first cousin of Assad and director of the Military Housing Establishment, a public works company [that] has also been included in the sanctions list...Two business associates of Maher Al-Assad, Khalid Qaddur and Ra'if Al-Quwatli, who both provide funding to the regime...Bena Properties and the Al Mashreq Investment Fund, which are both controlled by Rami Makhlouf and bankrolls Assad’s government....Mohammad Hamcho’s international group has also been included because of the monetary support it gives the regime...There are now 20 officials and associates of the Syrian regime affected by the EU’s sanctions because the organisation believes them to be responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population.

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Article
20 June 2011

Activists press EU to widen sanctions [Syria]

Author: Lina Saigol, Chris Bryant and Joshua Chaffin, Financial Times

Political activists stepped up pressure on the European Union...to widen its sanctions against Syria in response to escalating violence against protesters...“We know Syrian businessmen are one of the four main pillars of support of the Syrian regime and it is our objective to knock down this pillar...” a Syrian political activist...said. [S]everal people named by the US Treasury for their connections to the Syrian regime are not on the EU’s list. The US, for example, added Nabil Kuzbari, an Austrian-Syrian businessman, because he is chairman of Cham Holding, Syria’s largest private company, which is also partly owned by Rami Makhlouf...a cousin of Mr Assad [who] controls much of Syria’s economy, including its mobile phone network, SyriaTel..."I am not and have never been helping to finance the Syrian regime and I have no relations to the regime...” Mr Kuzbari said.

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