The European Union extended its sanctions on Syrian officials and businesses, but stopped short of imposing a full oil embargo on Damascus.
However, a diplomatic source told AFP:
“We are in a process of working through what further tools we want to use.”
“We are open to all options - the oil embargo, sanctions on banks and telecoms, in line with the Americans - but we want to make sure sanctions are targeted at the Assad regime.”
“We are acutely aware of the need to ramp up sanctions, but we don't want them to impact on the Syrian people.”
Some 90 percent of Syrian crude oil is exported to the EU, where the main buyers are Denmark, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Spain, in that order, AFP says.
US President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Spain last week called publicly for Assad to quit power, a first-time demand dismissed by Russia and Turkey.