Syria’s permanent representative to the UN has slammed the United States and the European Union for obstructing government efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in the Arab country, saying the nation continues to suffer from illegal measures of the West.
“The suffering of the Syrian people continues due to the practices of Western countries whose interests and agendas have prevailed over the lives of Syrians and over the security and stability of the region,” Bassam al-Sabbagh said during a meeting. briefing of the UN Security Council on the political and humanitarian situation in Syria on Friday.
“Improving the humanitarian situation requires lifting illegitimate coercive measures, ending foreign occupation of Syrian lands and ending support for terrorist organizations and separatist militias.
The government, he said, is trying to rebuild what terrorism has destroyed in Syria, put the country back on the path of sustainable development and ensure the return of displaced people to their homeland.
However, he added, these efforts face major obstacles due to the wrong policies adopted by Western states and their flagrant violations of international law and the UN Charter.
“Unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States and the European Union have impacted the banking, energy and communications sectors, as well as those of land, sea, air and maritime transport. They also had an impact on the work of the United Nations and other international organizations operating in Syria,” the Ambassador noted.
Syria has been grappling with foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Washington and its European Union allies have imposed tough sanctions on Syria, after terror groups they have long sponsored in their attempts to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad failed to achieve their battlefield goals.
The United States has deployed military forces and equipment to Syria without any authorization from Damascus or the UN. It has long trained militants and stolen Syria’s oil and wheat, ignoring repeated calls from Damascus to end its occupation of the country.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Sabbagh estimated that Syria produced 2.5 million tons of wheat before the war, but now has to import 1.5 million tons because US forces and their allied militants have taken over. control of the country’s wheat production.
Syria lacks power generation because US occupation forces are looting oil and gas, he said. The medical services sector, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, are suffering the repercussions of an embargo which deprives Syrians of their right to health care.
The Syrian envoy further criticized Turkey for violating bilateral agreements governing Euphrates water and obstructing the passage of humanitarian aid to Syria.
“The current political approach must be changed and talks must be undertaken to realize the interests of the Syrian people and end the Turkish, American and Israeli occupation of Syrian territories,” he stressed.
Sabbagh also expressed Damascus’ commitment to a political solution based on intra-Syrian dialogue that respects the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.