Syrian FM condemns extended EU sanctions

DAMASCUS – Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has attacked the European Union for extending sanctions against his country, BBC News said. Speaking on Syrian state TV, Muallem singled out France for its “occupying policies” around the world.

The EU imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on 23 May, in protest at his crackdown on protesters. A promise of reforms from President Assad on Monday did little to placate his opponents.

In his address on Wednesday, Muallem denied that Iran or Hezbollah had had a hand in putting down unrest inside Syria. And he called on regional allies – Turkey in particular – to maintain good relations. Rounding on what the Syrians regard as unwarranted criticism by the European Union, Muallem said; “No-one from Europe has come to visit Syria. They do not listen to us. They learn about Syria from outside Syria only. The world is not only Europe. We will forget that Europe exists on the map. We will ask to withdraw our membership from the Euromed.”

The Syrian foreign minister also voiced appreciation for Moscow’s position against UN Security Council’s possible adoption of a resolution on Syria similar to the one passed against Libya, RIA Novosti said. “We are grateful to Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Lebanon for their position,” Muallem said.

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