At the 75th UN General Assembly, Syria has urged all the countries that have come under illegal and unilateral US sanctions to “close ranks” and resist the “suffocating” bans.
“Unilateral coercive measures imposed by some countries clearly violate international law,” Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem told the meeting via video-link on Sunday.
“We call on all affected countries and those that reject such measures to close ranks against them and alleviate their impact on our peoples,” he said, adding, “This should happen through cooperation, coordination, and concrete political, economic, and commercial means.”
“Political agendas continue to take precedence over humanitarian agendas. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages across the world, the unilateral coercive measures imposed on the Syrian people and other peoples are being renewed instead of lifted,” the top diplomat regretted.
Muallem censured the most recent US sanctions against his country known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.
The sanctions came into effect on June 17 — six months after being signed into law by US President Donald Trump — targeting individuals and businesses anywhere in the world that operate directly or indirectly within the sphere of Syria’s economy. This includes entities that help the Arab country produce oil or fight terrorism in any way.
The economic measures have blocked imports of essential goods, impacting the Syrian people’s access to medical equipment, food, heating, gas, and electricity, the minister noted.
US seeks to suffocate Syrians ‘just like George Floyd’
Muallem named Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba as other countries that have been similarly targeted by heavy-handed American pressure.
He said US policy on Iran indicated Washington’s disregard for international law and non-commitment to the obligations that it has undertaken as part of international agreements, while also calling on Washington to stop interfering in Caracas’ and Havana’s domestic affairs.
He noted that America’s claimed exemptions of humanitarian items from the sanctions “do not exist on the ground,” comparing the “suffocating” pressure that was being felt by the sanctioned countries to the pressure that killed African-American George Floyd.
Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes.
US, Turkey ‘main supporters’ of terror in Syria
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Syrian foreign minister said the US and Turkey were the main sponsors of “terrorism” in his country.
The presence of American and Turkish forces on the Syrian soil amounts to occupation, he said. “Some countries invest in terrorism to attain their goals,” the official noted.
The US and its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of dislodging Daesh. The coalition sustains its presence, although Damascus and its allies defeated the Takfiri terrorist outfit in late 2017.
The Turkish military rolled into Syria in 2016 to allegedly fight off Daesh and Kurdish militants, whom Turkey associates with anti-Ankara separatists.
Both Washington and Ankara are also widely condemned for providing military and logistical support to militants since 2011, when the Arab country found itself in the grips of foreign-backed militancy.
“Damascus spares no effort to force out the occupiers in line with international law,” Muallem asserted.
Muallem finally regretted that the current international state of affairs was a departure from the United Nations’ foundational principles of international unity, security, and constructive cooperation.
This deviation was a consequence of some countries attempting to illegally impose their wills on others and using the world organization as an instrument to achieve their own objective, he said.
Muallem said it was high time that Security Council resolutions– adopted to enforce the UN principles — found their way from the archives to real implementation.