EU foreign ministers said on Monday they considered the new Syrian opposition to be “legitimate representatives” of the Syrian people, but stopped just short of according the full recognition granted by France.< The European Union has long called for unification of the fractious movement trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
The European Union has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize in a nod to the 27-member bloc’s “advancement of peace and reconciliation,” and to applaud its solidarity as it continues to work to contain the debt crisis hanging over the euro zone.
The news that the European Union is again debating whether to put Hezbollah, Lebanon’s dominant political and military force, on its terrorist list is deeply worrying. The move, which reflects growing international pressure on Hezbollah following a recent intensification of U.S. sanctions — risks disturbing the fragile country’s uneasy peace.
Oil fell below $84 a barrel Monday in Asia amid waning euphoria over the latest EU plans to tackle the continent’s debt and economic woes. Signs of a slowing Chinese economy also dragged crude down.
EU governments on Monday formally approved an embargo on Iranian oil to start on July 1, dismissing calls by debt-ridden Greece for possible exemptions to help ease its economic crisis.
The European Union has imposed fresh sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime over its 15-month-long crackdown on the opposition.
Spain’s biggest oil refiner Repsol stopped importing crude fromIran in January, and has replaced most of that supply with oil from Saudi Arabia, a spokesman confirmed on Tuesday. “No crude out of Iran for us since January,” he said shortly after Iran’s energy minister said the increasingly isolated OPEC member had stopped shipping oil to Spain.
The wife, mother, sister and sister-in-law of Syrian President Bashar Assad will be added to the European Union’s sanction list, ministers said, aiming to pressure him into ending a crackdown on popular unrest and restrict his family’s luxury lifestyle.
Tensions in the Gulf could reach a breaking point as a senior Iranian official said Iran would “definitely” close the Strait of Hormuz if an EU oil embargo disrupted the export of crude oil. Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee, issued the warning
Standard & Poor’s downgraded the credit ratings of nine euro zone countries, stripping France and Austria of their coveted triple-A status but not EU paymaster Germany, in a Black Friday 13th for the troubled single currency area.