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European Union foreign ministers agreed yesterday (14 November) to extend sanctions against Syria to 18 more individuals associated with its violent crackdown on dissent, but signalled that military action against the government was unlikely for now. EU ministers also sought to increase economic pressure on President Bashar al-Assad by approving plans to stop Syria accessing funds from the European Investment Bank (EIB). EU leaders warned last month that Syria could face new sanctions if there was no halt to the violence, in which the United Nations says more than 3500 protestors have died.