Russian rescue personnel search for survivors and victims under the rubble of a collapsed building in the town of Jableh in Syria's northwestern province of Latakia following an earthquake, on Feb 7, 2023. The Syrian Red Crescent appealed to Western countries to lift sanctions and provide aid after a powerful earthquake has killed more than 1,600 people across the war-torn country. (PHOTO / AFP)
BEIJING - A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday urged the United States to immediately lift unilateral sanctions on Syria as the earthquake-stricken country is facing a serious humanitarian crisis.
Spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing that the United Nations and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have called for emergency assistance for the victims in Syria to avoid further deterioration of the local humanitarian situation.
Noting that the United States has been involved in the Syrian crisis for a long time, Mao said the frequent US military interventions and harsh economic sanctions on Syria have caused great civilian casualties, cutting the Syrian people off from basic necessities of life and blocking the country's economic development and reconstruction.
"Even today, US troops still occupy Syria's principal oil fields, plunder more than 80 percent of the country's oil production, and have smuggled and burned Syria's grain stock, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis there," the spokesperson added.
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"In the wake of the devastating earthquakes, the United States should let go of its geopolitical obsession, immediately lift unilateral sanctions on Syria and open the door for humanitarian aid," Mao said.
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