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US oil sanctions send strong signal to Syria

Extracts from the Financial Times

By Anna Fifield in Washington, Alex Barker in Brussels, James Blitz in London and Daniel Dombey in Istanbul: 18 August 2011

With the sweeping sanctions it has imposed on Syria’s energy sector, the Obama administration has stepped up its efforts to isolate Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which earns as much as one-third of its income from oil exports.

The measures certainly look punitive – Washington has prohibited any Syrian petrol products from being imported into the US, and has forbidden any US citizens and companies from involvement in Syria’s oil sector or exporting any products to Syria.

Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total are both big players on the production side…

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