23 Apr 2013

EU eases sanctions on Syria

2:43 pm on 23 April 2013

The European Union has eased sanctions on Syria in an attempt to aid forces fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

European companies will now be able to import crude oil and petroleum products from opposition-held areas.

Each transaction will have to be approved by the National Coalition, the main opposition alliance, the ABC reports.

The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces must also be consulted before any transactions are approved.

EU sanctions were first imposed on Syria's oil industry in September 2011 in response to a crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

Before then, oil accounted for an estimated 25% of Syria's state revenue and EU members purchased about 95% of its crude exports.