BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday extended sanctions against the Syrian government for another year because of the "ongoing repression of the civilian population".
A meeting of the 28 EU foreign ministers in Brussels agreed to roll over sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's regime until June 1, 2019 and also updated the bloc's list of individuals subject to travel bans and asset freezes.
A total of 259 people and 67 organisations are now under sanction by the EU.
"Given the ongoing repression of the civilian population, the EU decided to maintain its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters, in line with the EU strategy on Syria," the European Council, which groups the member states, said in a statement.
EU sanctions currently in place against Syria include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments, a freeze of Syrian central bank assets held in the EU and restrictions on the export of equipment that might be used for repression.
The EU has been pushing for a resumption of UN-led peace talks in Geneva as a means to end the Syrian civil war, which has raged since 2011.