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Biden Accuses Damascus of ‘Threatening National Security’

Biden Accuses Damascus of ‘Threatening National Security’

Saturday, 8 May, 2021 - 05:30
Palestinians living in Syria, wearing Hezbollah flags, take part in a demonstration marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, during the holy month of Ramadan in Damascus, Syria May 7, 2021. REUTERS/Firas Makdesi

US President Joe Biden extended on Thursday unilateral sanctions against Syria by one more year, in a notice that refers to various restrictions gradually imposed by Washington against Damascus between 2004 and 2012.

“I am continuing for one year the national emergency declared with respect to the actions of the Government of Syria,” the President said in a White House notice.

These sanctions particularly include freezing of assets of certain people and legal entities in the US as well as a ban on exports of certain categories of American goods and services to Syria.

Sources expected Biden to announce a special taskforce on Syria at the State Department and to activate the Syria Accountability Act to intensify economic and political pressure on Damascus.

“The Syrian regime’s actions and policies, including with respect to chemical weapons and supporting terrorist organizations, pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” Biden’s notice said.

It also stressed that the Syrian leadership allows brutal violence and human rights violations and abuses.

"The United States calls on the Assad regime and its backers to stop its violent war against its own people, enact a nationwide ceasefire, enable the unobstructed delivery of humanitarian assistance to all Syrians in need, and negotiate a political settlement in Syria in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254," the White House added.

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