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Syria says EU has no right to buy oil from rebels

Source: Reuters - Tue, 23 Apr 2013 14:15 GMT
Author: Reuters
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BEIRUT, April 23 (Reuters) - Syria said on Tuesday the European Union had no right to buy crude oil from the opposition, after the EU eased an embargo to help those fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

In a letter to the United Nations Security Council, Syria said no party "can take any measure that would prejudice the sovereign rights of states over their natural resources ... for the benefit of the opposition ... which represents foreign interests."

Rebel fighters are in control of most oil producing regions of Syria but their ranks are divided and some rebel groups have fought with local tribes over resources in the country's oil-rich east.

Government air strikes will also hamper any attempt to export oil by the Western-backed Syrian National Council umbrella group which has failed to elect a provisional government, badly needed to oversee possible sales.

The latest U.S. government data indicate oil production in Syria was 153,000 barrels per day in October 2012, a nearly 60 percent decline from March 2011. (Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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