Switzerland Adopts New Sanctions against Syria
Switzerland on Friday adopted new sanctions against Syria, AFP reported, falling into line with decisions taken by the European Union, a statement from the economy ministry in Bern said.
It also took action against two men suspected of links with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, added 28 names to its existing list of supporters of President Bashar al-Assad, according to AFP. Their assets are frozen and they cannot get visas.
In addition, two further Syrian companies are to be the subject of sanctions.
The individuals added to the list of targeted Syrians are ministers, former ministers and close associates of Assad. The sanctions should take effect Saturday.
The two Syrian companies are Megatrade and Expert Partners, which are suspected of buying weapons or material that could be used for repression.
The EU decided on October 15 to increase to 181 the number of individuals close to the regime and to 54 the number of companies or institutions on its blacklist.
At the same time it imposed an arms and oil embargo, a series of trade and financial sanctions, and a freeze on the assets of companies, institutions and regime members, who were also banned from travel to the EU. Switzerland followed suit.
AFP reported that another decree from the economy ministry identified Ayyub Bashir, of Uzbek and Afghan nationality, and Aaamir Ali Chaudry, a Pakistani national, as the two men whose assets are to be frozen because of alleged ties to Al-Qaeda or the Taliban.
A ceasefire between the Syrian army and rebel fighters was scheduled to go into effect on Friday, but it shattered just several hours after it began, as deadly car bombings and artillery fire were reported.
President Bashar al-Assad's forces and main rebel group the Free Syrian Army (FSA) had both agreed to a call by UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to lay down their arms for the four-day Eid, but both also reserved the right to respond to attacks.
An April ceasefire announced by Brahimi's predecessor, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, also failed to take hold.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)