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UN envoy: Lifting sanctions necessary to improve humanitarian situation in Syria

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh (photo by SANA)

Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh has stressed that the improvement of the humanitarian situation in Syria requires the immediate lifting of unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US.  

During a UN Security Council session dedicated to discussing Syria, Sabbagh said that destructive unilateral sanctions by the US and its allies are exacerbating the humanitarian situation across Syria, official news agency SANA reported Thursday. 

"Western countries claim of humanitarian concern for the Syrian people contradicts the procedures of their countries by imposing destructive unilateral coercive measures that cause human suffering," the Syrian envoy said.

The US-led embargoes are causing severe shortages of food, medicines, medical equipment and basic services and negatively impacting humanitarian aid delivery operations, he said.

“The Western countries insist once again that extending the so-called ‘cross-border aid delivery mechanism’ would improve the humanitarian situation in Syria, but this is a shortsighted vision that reflects extreme selectivity and discrimination against the Syrians, and hides the facts and the fundamental reasons for the decline of the humanitarian situation in Syria, among which are the crimes of occupation, aggression and terrorism, including economic terrorism represented by unilateral coercive measures," the Syrian diplomat emphasized.

Sabbagh said statements by some countries show that they are still exploiting the Security Council to politicize the humanitarian situation in Syria, practice political hypocrisy, and promote a deceptive approach with the aim of prolonging the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The Syrian envoy also demanded an end to the plundering of the country's resources and national wealth by the US and other occupiers. 

Over the past years, the US has been maintaining an illegal military presence on Syrian soil, collaborating with anti-Damascus militants and stealing the country’s crude oil resources.

It has also slapped rounds of crippling sanctions on Syria, which has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

Parts of the restrictive measures have been imposed under the so-called Caesar Act, an American piece of legislation that alleges to support the Syrian people by protecting them against the Syrian administration’s way of governance.

The bans target almost all Syrian economic and trade activities, as well as the country’s government officials.

The European Union and the US along with their Middle Eastern allies are viewed as the main sponsors of militant groups and notorious terrorist outfits operating since early 2011 to overthrow the government in Damascus.

Apart from fueling militancy in Syria, the EU and US have imposed a host of unilateral economic sanctions on the Arab nation over the past decade in what appears to be an attempt to deprive the Damascus government of its financial resources and hamper its fight against the terror groups they have been supporting.


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