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Syria Says Central Bank Assets Are Safe From EU Sanctions

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March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Syria’s central-bank assets are safe from new European Union sanctions, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported, citing Central Bank Governor Adib Mayaleh.

The bank had taken protective measures before the Feb. 27 EU decision to freeze its assets and ban trade in precious metals and diamonds with Syria, he said, adding that the sanctions mainly hurt Syrian citizens.

The central bank is awaiting the right timing to intervene in the market to stabilize the national currency back at normal levels after the rate spiraled due to speculation since unrest spread across the country last year, Mayaleh said.

EU nations have also prohibited Syrian cargo-only flights to the bloc as part of the tougher penalties against President Bashar al-Assad’s government for its continued violent crackdown on civilian opponents. In addition, they applied a visa ban and an asset freeze on seven Syrian ministers. The 27-nation EU imposed an oil embargo on Syria in September that is set to start on July 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nayla Razzouk in Dubai at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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