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Sit-in for Syria held in Rome

Max Civili
Press TV, Rome

On Saturday sit-ins were held in several countries across the world as part of a campaign aimed at denouncing the devastating effects of the sanctions imposed by the US and the European Union on Syria.

The initiative, named 'End the Siege', has been joined by organizations based in a dozen countries including Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, the UK, Germany, and Canada.

Italy's sit-in was held in Rome, in front of the Coliseum, where members of the No-War Network and the US citizens for Peace and Justice denounced how US and EU sanctions have devastated Syria's economy and have led to immense human suffering.

Demonstrators at the sit-in said that the US must leave Syria and stop profiting from Syrian oil and wheat which has exacerbated the poverty in the country.

Italy and Syria once maintained a robust relationship. But in 2012, one year after the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, Rome joined its western allies in closing its embassy in Damascus.

Seven years later, in 2019, when Italy had an anti-establishment government under the leadership of the Five Star Movement and the Northern League, it appeared that Rome was mulling over normalizing relations with Damascus and reopening its embassy there. However, something went wrong.

The February 6 earthquake has further worsened the already deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation in Syria. According to UN sources even before the earthquake tragedy, 70 percent of the population needed humanitarian assistance due to the war in the country and the US-EU sanctions.

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