The European Union (EU) extends its sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for a period of three months rather than one year to leave the possibility of supplying the rebels in the near future open.
The decision was formally adopted on November 29 during a meeting of the foreign ministers of the 27-nation bloc.
"There was an agreement to extend the sanctions by three months as the measures were only valid until Friday, November 30," said an EU official.
Since the eruption of the anti-Assad revolution in March 2011, the EU has imposed nineteen rounds of sanctions against Syria's regime. The sanctions include a wide range of financial and trade measures as well as an arms embargo.
In addition to such measures, the EU has also blacklisted 54 companies and 181 people, all subjected to an assets freeze and travel ban.
In mid-November, France raised the idea of excluding defensive weapons from the current arms embargo to help rebels fight the country's forces. The proposal, however, did not receive unanimous support from France's EU partners.
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