BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 P.M.) – The European Union decided announced on Thursday its intention to extend its sanctions against the Syrian Arab Republic for a period of one year, until June 1, 2021, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the council affirmed that the decision to keep restrictive measures against “the Syrian regime and its supporters” came in line with the union’s strategy toward Syria, against the background of “the continuation of repressive operations against civilians.”

The High Representative for Security and Foreign Policy in the European Union, Joseph Borrell, stressed that these sanctions are directed against those responsible for the suffering of the Syrian people during the years of the conflict, including individuals and supporters of the Syrian government and businessmen who provide support to the government and benefit from the “war economy”.

Borrell expressed the European Union’s determination to “continue to support the Syrian people” and “its firm commitment to using every available means in order to move towards a political settlement of the conflict that will benefit all Syrians and put an end to the ongoing repression.”

The federation decided to remove the names of two people and a company from its blacklist, because they had refrained from “the behavior required of punishment”, in addition to two others because of their deaths.

The European sanctions list currently includes 272 individuals whose assets have been frozen, in addition to 70 entities whose assets have been frozen.

During the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly, the Syrian Minister of Health, Nizar Yazigi, announced that “harsh and unjust” U.S. and European sanctions hinder efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Syria.

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