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EU Extension of Sanctions on Syria Stalls Political Process in Country

© REUTERS / Hosam Katan/File Photo A general view shows a damaged street with sandbags used as barriers in Aleppo's Saif al-Dawla district, Syria March 6, 2015.
A general view shows a damaged street with sandbags used as barriers in Aleppo's Saif al-Dawla district, Syria March 6, 2015. - Sputnik International
Extension of the sanctions imposed by the European Union on Syria hampers political process in the war-torn country, the head of department of Culture and Information of the ruling Syria's Baath party told Sputnik on Friday.

DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Brussels extended sanctions against Syrian authorities for one year.

"These measures hamper political process, because they increase the sufferings of the Syrian nation and do not promote the creation of conditions for a political dialogue with Europe. Lifting of economic blockade is the solution and would create the best terms for the beginning of successful political process," Khalaf Muftakh said.

He added that Europe should prove its adherence to the political settlement in the Middle Eastern nation.

"When it [Europe] says that it intends to fight terrorism, it should take some steps to strengthen trust in order to prove its good intentions. The political will of European leaders is also necessary in this issue," Muftakh said.

Anti-Damascus EU Economic Blockade Leads to Syrian Citizens Migration

The economic blockade imposed by the European Union on Syria has resulted in migration of country's citizens both within the country and outside Syria, Baath akso said.

"Economic sanctions that led the Syrian nation to poverty and misery made the Syrians either to migrate to country's internal areas controlled by the [Syrian] state, where the state provides basic needs or to move to the West, where they are burden for Europe. That's why, the sanctions contradict the statements that migration has political causes, because the real cause — is the economic blockade imposed by Europe," Khalaf Muftakh said.

He added that the sanctions imposed on Syria were illegal and violated international law and the UN Charter.

Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with the government forces fighting several opposition factions and militant organizations. The crisis has caused a humanitarian disaster making millions of people flee their country and become refugees.

Following the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Damascus has been targeted by restrictions imposed by interstate organizations, such as the European Union and the Arab League, as well as by particular countries, including Turkey and the United States.

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