Switzerland freezes assets related to Syrian Al Assad regime

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Syrian president Bashar Al Assad and his wife Asma walk in a street of Paris on 10 December 2010. Many European countries, including Switzerland, have imposed sanctions on Syria and frozen assets related to the Al Assad regime. Photo - Getty Images

A Swiss government spokeswoman has announced freezing of assets worth 20 million Swiss francs ($20.7 million) related to the officials of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s regime.

Marie Avet, speaking on behalf of the Swiss ministry of economy, told Zurich-based NZZ am Sonntag newspaper that assets belonging to close aides of the Syrian dictator have been blocked in recent weeks.

Switzerland has already frozen Syrian assets worth 70 million Swiss francs in total. Bern has also imposed additional sanctions on Damascus that include travel bans and asset freeze on at least 127 officials and 40 Syrian companies related to the Assad regime in its bid to voice displeasure at the violent response to the uprising in the country.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claimed in a speech on Monday that an international conspiracy against himself, his family, the Baathist regime and his country are being hatched by several regional and world powers. “We are not facing a political problem…what we are facing is a conspiracy of sedition, division and destruction of the homeland and the tool of this conspiracy is terrorism,” he said in a speech to the nation on national television.

He termed the Houla massacre as monstrous in which 108 civilians were killed, including 34 children.

“The issue is terrorism. We are facing a real war waged from the outside,” he claimed in his address.

Switzerland was one of the several Western governments that expelled its Syrian ambassador following the massacre in Houla.

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