Sanctions cause damage to Syrians, says Assad

(130913) — DAMASCUS, Sept. 13, 2013 (Xinhua) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad receives an interview with Russia 24 channel in Damascus, capital of Syria, on Spet.12, 2013. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that he agreed to put chemical weapons under international observation “upon the request of Russia and not because of the American threats,” the state-run SANA news agency reported Thursday. Syria on Thursday formally applied to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), vowing to immediately fully abide with the treaty. (Xinhua/SANA) (syq)

Damascus, Aug 13 (IANS) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the Western sanctions on the war-torn country have caused damage to the people, adding that the response should be increasing production.

Assad made the remarks in a speech addressing the newly-elected Syrian parliamentarians at the People’s Presidential Palace in the capital Damascus on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Speaking about the recently-imposed Caesar sanctions by the US, Assad said the new set of sanctions is the latest in a string of economic siege that has caused big damage to the Syrian people.

He said the Caesar sanctions have additional damage and lots of psychological war.

The response to the economic siege, Assad continued, comes through increasing the production process in all sectors.

He said the Syrian government will work on removing obstacles in the face of investments.

The President also noted that small investments should be supported as they support the national economy in the face of the economic siege.

The industry must also be supported as it reduces the need to import, he added.

On top of the challenges Syria is facing, Assad said, are the livelihood of the people, the economic situation, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President also said that his government will continue to fight corruption, noting that fighting corruption has not stopped but increased in the latest few years.

During the one-hour-long speech, Assad took a pause for a few minutes as he suffered from a brief drop in blood pressure.

It’s the first time for the 54-year-old president to have a mild health issue while delivering a speech.

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