1st LD Writethru: Chinese envoy urges U.S. to immediately lift unilateral sanctions on Syria

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UNITED NATIONS, July 29 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Wednesday urged the United States to stop politicizing the Syrian humanitarian issue and to immediately lift unilateral sanctions against Syria.

China has always adopted a constructive and responsible approach in dealing with the issue of cross-border humanitarian mechanism for Syrians. In fact, it is the United States that should reflect on its actions, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

In addressing the cross-border issue, the United States voted six times against reasonable draft resolutions and amendments aimed at narrowing differences and finding solutions, he told a Security Council virtual meeting on Syria's humanitarian situation.

If the United States truly cares about the humanitarian situation in Syria, it should stop politicizing the humanitarian issue, stop putting up a hypocritical political show. If the United States truly cares about the humanitarian situation in Syria, it should immediately lift unilateral sanctions against the Syrian people, instead of creating groundless excuses. If the United States truly cares about the humanitarian situation in Syria, it should stop hegemony policy, regime change and bullying practices in the Middle East and other parts of the world, which had led to endless chaos and instability, said Zhang.

China follows closely the humanitarian and economic situation in Syria. China is deeply worried that Syria is now going through severe economic collapse. The loss of currency value, rising unemployment, increased food insecurity and insufficient medicine supplies all add to the sufferings of the Syrian people, he said.

The fact that unilateral sanctions gravely impact the humanitarian situation in Syria is undeniable. Years of economic blockade and illegal sanctions have worsened the socio-economic and humanitarian situations in Syria, and undermined the livelihoods of innocent civilians. At this critical time, unilateral sanctions further compromise Syria's capacity to effectively respond to COVID-19. Lifting unilateral sanctions is more important and urgent than ever, he said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, his special envoy Geir Pedersen, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have made repeated appeals for the waiving of unilateral sanctions. These appeals have also received the overwhelming support of member states. There should be a positive response to these appeals, he said.

China urges relevant countries to demonstrate genuine sympathy and support for the Syrian people by lifting the sufferings they impose on them. The Security Council should fulfill its mandate and take concrete actions in this regard. China also requests a comprehensive report by the UN Secretariat on this issue, said Zhang.

The Syrian government bears the primary responsibility to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria. It is encouraging to see continued efforts and progress in cross-line operations into both the northeast and the northwest of Syria. China calls on relevant parties to remove obstacles to cross-line operations, and give priority to providing humanitarian relief from within Syrian territory, he said.

The international community should increase humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, on the basis of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. In this regard, China's position on the cross-border mechanism remains unchanged. Considering the current situation, China does not object to retaining the cross-border mechanism at this stage, he said.

The Syrian issue should be addressed with a holistic approach, taking into account the political, counter-terrorism, security, humanitarian and other aspects altogether, said Zhang.

China calls on relevant parties to respond to the cease-fire appeals by the secretary-general, strengthen dialogue and consultation, and actively promote a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned political process. China will continue to play a responsible and constructive role in the efforts to achieve a peaceful, just and proper settlement of the Syrian issue at an early date, he said. Enditem

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