BRUSSELS (EJP)---EU foreign ministers meet Monday in Brussels to approve additional sanctions against the Syrian regime which continues its repression of the opposition.
The measures likely to be adopted include a freeze of the financial assets of up to 10 senior figures in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, travel bans on high-profile members of Assad's regime, restraints on Syria's Central Bank, as well as restrictions on cargo flights and sales of gold and diamonds.
The ministers are also expected to endorse the statement issued by a conference of Friends of Syria group which met on Friday in Tunis on Friday. The statement calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign and for the creation of a UN peacekeeping force.
But the international community appears divided on an eventual intervention in the conflict.
Countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Tunisia want to arm the Syrian rebels, while Britain, France and the US are more cautious, worried that such a move would give the regime cover to continue inflicting atrocities on the civilian population.
British Foreign Minister William Hague called for "a diplomatic and economic stranglehold on the Assad regime" to "choke off support for its campaign of terror". However, he has specifically ruled out arming the Syrian rebels. "We have in the EU an arms embargo on Syria, so of course we will observe that in all directions."
European Union Member States are also divided as to whether the Syrian uprising is in the spirit of the Arab spring or whether it is more of a sectarian conflict between rival ethnic groups.