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Clinton urges world cut economic ties with Syria

There is little prospect of Western states agreeing to sanctions on Assad, due to vested commercial interests in lucrative Syrian oil industry.

by Reuters via Haaretz

August 12, 2011 | 1:29 pm

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, June 2010. Photo by Chad J. McNeeley

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, June 2010. Photo by Chad J. McNeeley

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that Syria would be better off without Assad, and called on nations that buy oil or sell arms to Syria to cut those ties.

“We urge those countries still buying Syrian oil or gas, those countries still sending Assad weapons, those countries whose political and economic support give him comfort in his brutality, to get on the right side of history,” she said.

Syria’s oil industry, with which the Assad has close links, generates most of the state’s hard currency from crude output of 380,000 barrels per day.

While Syria exports crude oil, its refinery capacity is not sufficient to meet domestic demand for fuel. Trading sources said Swiss oil traders Vitol and Trafigura agreed to supply state firm Sytrol with 60,000 tons of gasoline this week.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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