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Royal Dutch Shell to continue operation in Syria 2011-08-31 19:03:33

THE HAGUE, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) — Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday said it would not withdraw from unrest-torn Syria, despite mounting pressure from Dutch political parties, local media reported.

Halting the Shell’s operation in Syria would hurt the Syrian people more than its government, Dutch national broadcaster NOS quoted Dick Benschop ,head of Shell’s Dutch arm as saying.

The remarks came just one day after several political parties in the Netherlands called on the Anglo-Dutch group to withdraw from Syria in order to put more pressure on the country’s current authorities.

Dutch opposition party Democrats 66 leader Alexander Pechtold on Tuesday told Dutch newspaper Volkskrant that 95 percent of the Syrian oil exported went to European refineries, particularly in the Netherlands, Britain, France and Italy.

According to Pechtold, Shell had more power than politics .

Other political parties such as the Socialist Party and the Labor Party share similar views.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal earlier hinted a possible European oil boycott against Syria, but said that the decision to make that happening was in a rather slow process.

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