RPT - Unilateral Sanctions Prevent Third Parties From Sending Aid To Syria - Embassy

JOHANNESBURG (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 09th February, 2023) Unilateral sanctions imposed by the US and EU are preventing third parties from sending aid to Syria to help the country deal with the consequences of the devastating earthquakes, Mariam Naasan, a spokeswoman of the Syrian embassy to South Africa, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Turkey and Syria were rattled on Monday by at least three major earthquakes and dozens of aftershocks that killed more than 10,000 people and collapsed thousands of homes. Russia and other nations have pledged their assistance to both countries.

"Not really. We can look at both sides, Syria and Turkey, we are getting help but it's still not enough. I would like to talk about sanctions. The illegal sanctions are worsening the situation. It prevents people to give a hand to help people in Syria and those sanctions have to be lifted to deal with the humanitarian crisis and we appeal to South Africa to look and help Syria during this period," Naasan said in answer to the question whether South African non-governmental organizations had contacted the Syrian embassy offering to provide assistance.

The diplomat noted that Syria had already appealed to all members of the UN, including South Africa, with requests for emergency drugs, medical equipment, and humanitarian supplies.

Naasan also said that she was closely working with Syrian diaspora in the country to organize help for their compatriots affected by the quakes.

"We are still organizing some aid and we are especially monitoring aids because of distance we are really trying. Our Syrian people here are between 400 and 600, including young ones, and (they) are actively trying their best to help. Bear in mind that the diaspora is helping their families and trying to do their best trying to communicate with the South African community. We are trying to get help but it's not enough," she said.

In 2011, the West and the Arab League imposed unilateral sanctions against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad over alleged human rights violations and persecution of the country's opposition.