The United States slapped sanctions on Syria, including a ban on exports to Damascus and a freeze on Syrian assets in America, for allegedly harbouring terrorists, facilitating the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq and developing weapons of mass destruction.
President George W Bush imposed the sanctions on Tuesday and accused Syria of ‘‘supporting terrorist groups, continuing military presence in Lebanon, pursuing weapons of mass destruction, and undermining US and international efforts with respect to the stabilisation and reconstruction of Iraq.’’ The sanctions ban export to Syria of American products other than food and medicine, prohibit Syrian aircraft from entering US and freeze all assets that belong to certain Syrian individuals and government entities, a White House statement said. The implementation of sanctions comes after ‘‘many months of diplomatic efforts to convince the Syrian government to change its unacceptable behaviour. Secretary (of State Colin) Powell conveyed US concerns to the Syrian President repeatedly.....The Syrian government has failed to take significant, concrete steps to address these concerns,’’ the statement said.
Meanwhile, Syria has termed the US decision to levy sanctions as ‘‘unjust’’. ‘‘They are unjust and unjustified. These sanctions will not have any effect on Syria,’’ PM Mohammed Najo Otri said, according to reports from Damascus. —(PTI)