GENEVA (AP) — The Swiss government has widened its sanctions against Syria to cover the country’s central bank and trade in key industrial goods.
The Cabinet’s decision Friday brings Switzerland in line with the sanctions already imposed by the 27-nation European Union.
The government says the aim is to increase pressure on the regime of Syria’s President Bashar Assad to cease the violent crackdown on opposition groups and human rights abuses.
It says the Syrian central bank’s funds in Switzerland will be frozen and trade in newly issued Syrian government bonds will be banned. Swiss companies will be prohibited from engaging in other financial deals with Syrian banks or offering insurance to the government.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Syrian funds held by the Basel-based Bank for International Settlements would also be blocked.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.