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Lavrov: US, Western sanctions target Syrian people, obstruct reconstruction process

A man rides a bicycle with his child, around damaged buildings in Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria. (File photo by Reuters)

Russia’s foreign minister says the sanctions imposed on Syria by the United States and other Western countries target all Syrian people and obstruct the reconstruction process in the war-torn country.

“The reconstruction process in Syria is not easy because of the sanctions imposed by the US and the West, and these sanctions do not target the Syrian government only,” Sergei Lavrov told a joint press conference held with his Turkish and Qatari counterparts, Syria's official news agency SANA reported.

According to Lavrov, the sanctions prevent the realization of a solution for humanitarian problems in Syria.

The Russian foreign minister also called for combating terrorism and separatist movements in the Arab country.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since 2011.

In recent years, the US has been maintaining an illegal military presence in Syrian oil-rich regions, collaborating with militants against Syria’s legitimate government, stealing the country’s crude oil resources, bombing the positions of the Syrian army and anti-terror popular forces, and imposing crippling sanctions on Damascus.

The Syrian government has denounced the United States’ unilateral sanctions as “crimes against humanity”, saying the Western sponsors of terrorism must pay the price for their atrocities against the Syrian nation.

The devastating effects of the illegal US sanctions on Syria and other countries are well-documented, especially since the coronavirus hit those countries.

Back in August, a group of UN independent human rights experts called for a halt on sanctions to allow affected nations access to vital supplies to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Sanctions that were imposed in the name of delivering human rights are in fact killing people and depriving them of fundamental rights, including the rights to health, to food and to life itself,” they said in a statement.

“Sanctions are bringing suffering and death in countries like Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen,” said Alena Douhan, the UN special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.

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