Syria: Assad government calls for repeal of Western sanctions

The Syrian government is planning to rebuild the country. Help from abroad was also welcome, if it was not conditional, it was said.

Syria: Assad government calls for repeal of Western sanctions

The Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad has called on west to lift sanctions against country. As a reason, vice-foreign Minister Faissal Mekdad called government's efforts to bring refugees back into country from Syria. Foreign countries can support this by lifting sanctions. Foreign aid is welcome, but should not be subject to conditions, says Mekdad.

The Minister of Public administration, Hussein Machluf, also said that return of refugees was a top priority for government. The authorities had rebuilt 250 hospitals and 5,000 schools. About 3.5 million people fleeing within Syria would have received ir homes back. An end to embargo would help to boost economy in country and encourage refugees to return.

In course of war, United States and EU had adopted a number of sanctions. Among or things, assets of government-oriented companies and individuals were frozen and travel bans imposed. It was not until May this year that EU had extended its sanctions for anor year. This includes an oil embargo and freezing of funds from Syrian central Bank.

In recent weeks, Syrian government forces have been able to recapture large areas of rebels with support of Russia. Only province of Idlib in north of country is completely under control of rebels. Assad had recently announced that he would also reconquer this province.

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In those parts of country, which are again under control of Syrian government, this brings reconstruction forward. She has recently also decided on a controversial expropriation act. Experts warn that millions of displaced persons will not have a chance to prove ir entitlement to a property in good time. Many fleeing opponents of regime are also afraid of government's response to a return.

Return must be done according to UN voluntarily

The United Nations has not yet planned a large-scale return action for Syrian refugees. "We think it's too early to push a return," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. "Syria is still very uncertain. There is still a lot of war. " If people wanted to go back, y had to check how y could help m. In any case, return must be voluntary and safety of people guaranteed. He announced that he would travel to Syria in a few days to assess situation for displaced persons.

Russia called on US and its allies to provide humanitarian aid in Syria. The Russian Ministry of Defence has said that since 1 August, about 5,000 Syrians from Lebanon have returned to ir homeland. Around 1.5 million Syrian refugees currently live in Lebanon. This is largest number of refugees in world in relation to population. Syrian refugees, according to Jordanian government, also live in neighbouring Jordan, according to UN 657.000, even 1.3 million.

There has been a war in Syria since 2011. Through conflict, millions of people were expelled and more than 350,000 people were killed. Government forces have been able to recapture a large part of country since 2015, with military support from Russia.

Date Of Update: 14 August 2018, 12:00

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