Patriarchs Yazigi, Laham, and Aphrem II appeal to the world to lift sanctions on Syria

Damascus, SANA – Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East John X Yazigi, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Gregorios III Laham, and Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East Mar Ignatius Aphrem II issued an appeal on Tuesday calling on the world and relevant states to lift the siege and sanctions imposed on the Syrian people.

In the appeal, the Patriarchs said that if the goals for imposing sanctions are political ones, the sanctions affected the Syrian people and mainly the impoverished and the working class in a drastic manner, particularly in their daily lives and ability to buy food and receive medical services.

The appeal noted that although the Syrian people remain steadfast in the face of this ordeal, the social condition is deteriorating and poverty and suffering are increasing, which prompted the three Damascus-based Patriarchs to issue this humanitarian appeal, given that they are in touch with the suffering of the Syrians.

The Patriarchs called for taking unusual steps and brave, wise, and responsible decisions that take into account humanitarianism, human rights, and international accords and lift the economic sanctions imposed on Syria, adding that this would restore unity among Syrians and curb the exploitation of the Syrians’ ordeal by sides that have no good intentions for Syria, in addition to helping clerical establishments in performing humanitarian work.

The Patriarchs stressed that the appeal is in line with the desire of several states and humanitarian organizations who want to help the Syrian people, hoping that the international community will react to this appeal and ending the sanctions that constitute another aspect of the crisis and seek to pressure individuals, establishments, and companies, thereby pressuring the entire population.

They pointed out that the lack of new investments, blocking of international flights to Syria, reducing exports to it, and blacklisting some of its companies isolate Syria from the international community, as does closing most Western embassies in it, and also preventing banking transactions with Syria further exasperates Syrians’ economic conditions and threatens their livelihood and dignity.

Hazem Sabbagh

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