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Damascus calls on West to lift sanctions against Syria due to threat of COVID-19

Syrian al-Assad
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has condemned the sanctions policy of the US and the West against the country during the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

"In light of the dangerous escalation represented by the Coronavirus and the international alert to confront this pandemic and to contain it and prevent its spread, the U.S. and the European Union are continuing to impose illegitimate unilateral coercive measures on a number of states, some of which are hugely suffering from the spread of the virus, in a blatant violation of human rights and the simplest humanitarian values and principles," SANA news agency quotes the Foreign Ministry source as saying.

"Syrian Arab Republic whose people have suffered and still suffer from the terrorist aggression and the illegitimate unilateral coercive measures which affect the life of the citizens and particularly the health sector, calls on the international community to respect the principles of the international humanitarian law and the sanctity of the human life, and to work on lifting those sanctions immediately, particularly in the current circumstances after the Coronavirus has spread in the neighboring countries," the source stressed.

Syria has also expressed solidarity with Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and other states that continue to combat the dangerous infection under sanctions pressure. Syria "holds the U.S. and its allies, who impose those sanctions and boast of protecting human rights, fully responsible for every human victim of this pandemic through hindering the efforts which aim at confronting this virus which constitutes a serious threat to all humanity and through preventing the help in curbing the virus," the agency quotes the Syrian diplomats.

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. On March 11, WHO officially characterized the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. The disease has spread to over 170 countries. According to latest reports, over 220,000 people have been infected with the virus globally, and about 8,900 have died.

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