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Syria deprived of precious metals. Referral to the international criminal tribunal envisaged (Maj)

(BRUSSELS2) The 27 foreign ministers will take, this Monday in Brussels, a series of economic sanctions against the regime of Syrian President Bashar El-Assad. But other, more political sanctions are already looming. The possibility of international prosecutions against certain Syrian officials for crimes against humanity is increasingly often raised at the diplomatic level. This subject could be raised, also on Monday but in Geneva, within the framework of the United Nations.

Precious metals in the crosshairs

According to the draft text that the 27 should adopt on Monday – which B2 was able to consult – the European Union will effectively ban all movements of precious metals: “ the purchase " as the " sale or supply ", directly or indirectly to the Syrian government, its central bank, and any entity controlled directly or indirectly by it – whether these metals come from the Union or not; as well as the provision of a “ technical assistance, brokerage, financing or financial assistance in connection with these transactions.

A whole series of precious metals are affected, not just gold and silver, as has been mentioned. Included in the list are: diamonds, who are " even worked, but not mounted or set » ; themoney (including gilded silver? or vermeil and platinum silver?), “ in unprocessed or semi-processed forms, or in powder' ; gold (including platinum gold?), “ in unprocessed or semi-processed forms, or in powder' ; the plate? or double? gold on common metals or on silver, in raw or semi-worked forms.

(Shift) On the other hand, the platinum, who are " in unprocessed or semi-processed forms, or in powder', ; the nickel ; the tantalum and articles made of tantalum, including waste and debris (NB: used in electronics); rhenium (NB: used in aircraft engines), indium (NB: used in touch screens), germanium (NB: used in optical fibers), which appeared in a first draft, do not appear more in the final list published in the Official Journal.

The international criminal court for Assad?

The meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva this Monday could be an opportunity for several countries to call for this legal avenue. Several European Union ministers have also planned to go there just after their meeting in Brussels, notably the Italian and French ministers. Alain Juppé, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, has also clarified that he intends to go further in sanctions against the Syrian regime. “ I will call on the United Nations to be particularly vigilant and, if necessary, to seize the International Criminal Tribunal to follow up on these crimes against humanity. » he declared to the press, leaving the “Friends of Syria” meeting in Tunis on Friday.

Note that after Tunis, a meeting of “friends of Syria” will take place in Turkey, very quickly “in the coming weeks”, followed by a meeting in Paris.

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).