“Stop the siege of the Syrian People! Lift the International Sanctions on Syria”

“Stop the siege of the Syrian People! Lift the International Sanctions on Syria”

A Humanitarian Appeal from the Patriarchs of Syria to the International Conscience and the Concerned Countries

cc. Given current US and EU-European plans for a further aggravation of sanctions on Syria, we here document a call of high Christian dignitaries in Syria of 23 August 2016.

Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in 2011, the impact of the economic and financial sanctions increased on the daily lives of Syrian citizens. This constituted a huge burden which deepened the suffering of the Syrian people. These sanctions represent another aspect of the crisis and result in more pressure on individuals, institutions, companies, and consequently on the entire people.
The absence of new investments and the ban on international flights to Syria, as well as the reduction of exportation to the country and listing some Syrian companies on the blacklist of international trade, are considered to be economical measures towards the isolation of Syria from the international community. Furthermore, the closing of most of the embassies of western countries in Syria and the withdrawal of their employees limits the diplomatic relations and the foreign interaction of Syria with other countries. Moreover, the ban on international banking transactions with Syria puts the people in a financial difficulty. It impoverishes the citizens and threatens them in their daily bread and deprives them of their human dignity.
As a result, the prices of basic necessities become higher due to the drop in the value of the local currency and its direct influence on the power to buy. This had serious consequences on the Syrian society in all its components. It impacted all aspects of everyday life and led to the rise of new social problems.
Our appeal comes as an invitation to take extraordinary measures, and make brave, wise and responsible decisions that have a humanitarian dimension based on the Human Rights Charter and other International Covenants, mainly to lift the economic sanctions on Syria. This will meet the aspirations of the citizens who seek to improve their living conditions. It will strengthen their attachment to the land of their ancestors and help restore the harmony among all citizens. Likewise, it will limit the exploitation of the misery of the Syrian people by groups who do not want the common good of the country. It will also facilitate the work of our ecclesial and humanitarian organizations in conferring humanitarian aid and delivering medicine and medical equipment to those who need it throughout Syria. Our appeal resonates with the desire of some countries and humanitarian organizations to help the Syrian people who is suffering from the severity of the crisis. It will contribute to the relief of its suffering and dealing with the consequences of the crisis.
We hope that the international community responds to the humanitarian appeal of the Syrians: “Stop the siege on the Syrian People! Lift the International Sanctions on Syria and allow this people to live in dignity which is a basic right to all the peoples of the world”.

Damascus, August 23, 2016

John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch

Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch

Gregorius III, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch

 

Source: www.csi-int.org/fileadmin/Files/pdf/2016/Appeal_Patriarchs_of_Syria_-_23_Aug_2016.pdf

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