"They erred when they attacked the president and when they adopted sanctions that harm the Syrian people"
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in an interview on state television on Monday that the EU had "erred" in imposing sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his top aides.
"They erred when they attacked the president and when they adopted sanctions that harm the Syrian people," Muallem said. "Today, the Europeans have added a black page to their record of colonialism in the region," he added.
He also said that Israel stood to benefit most from sanctions imposed on Syria by the EU as well as the United States and dismissed any prospect of a foreign intervention in Syria. "I say this measure, just as it will harm Syria's interests, it will harm Europe's interest. And Syria won't remain silent about this measure," he said.
He went on saying, "We still have the keys to deal with the situation in Syria through more awareness of the people of what is plotted and schemed in the West against the people".
The European sanctions against Syria included asset freezes, travel bans and an arms embargo.
The sanctions came following similar measures imposed by the United States and amid mounting calls by the international community for Assad's authoritarian regime to stop the violence.
On the list of 13 targeted officials was the president's brother, Maher al-Assad, who commands Syria's Republican Guard and is the second most powerful man in Syria. Ali Mamlouk, head of the General Intelligence Service, and Adulfattah Qudsiyeh, who runs military intelligence, were also on the list.