Syria condemns US sanctions

Looming US sanctions against Syria have drawn the ire of the country's official press.

    The Syrian press is government controlled

    Syrian dailies, all of them government controlled, have unanimously labelled the American move as part of a campaign by Washington's main regional ally, Israel.

    "The American decision is the result of an Israeli campaign

    against Syria which echoed with the hawks in the American

    administration," said al-Thawra daily.

    "All the decisions of these (US) leaders are taken with a view

    to serving Israel, its policies and its aggressive aims," it

    said.

    Sanctions

    On Wednesday, the House

    International Relations Committee voted in favour of diplomatic and

    economic sanctions, accusing Syria of supporting "terrorism" and

    developing weapons of mass destruction.

    The Bush administration also said it would no longer oppose

    legislation allowing the sanctions resolution, which means it has a

    strong chance of being passed by the full House of Representatives

    next week.

    The motion came in the wake of an airstrike last Sunday by

    Israel on what it said was a training camp for Palestinian "terrorists"

     

    outside Damascus.

    Provocation

    The Bush administration looks
    set to impose sanctions on Syria

    Al-Thawra added the US move looked like a "pressure tactic

    to modify the Syrian position of principle over the (American)

    occupation of Iraq and the explosive situation in the (Israeli)

    occupied territories" of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

    The paper of the ruling Baath party also called the move a

    "provocation" which flew in the face of international rules and

    relations.

    It recalled that cooperation between the two countries in

    cracking down al-Qaida had recently

    led the White House to express its satisfaction with

    anti-terrorism efforts by Damascus.

    The Tishrin daily took a more diplomatic approach, saying Syria

    "remains bound by international law" and was "open to an objective,

    constructive and balanced dialogue with all the world's countries".

    Arab rights

    But it warned that its "national principle, its rights and the

    interests of its people came first". 

     

    There was a similar reaction in Beirut, which is dominated

    politically and militarily by Damascus.

    The resolution "is part of a long series of (US) positions which

    profit Israel and whose goal is to eliminate Arab rights," the

    pro-Syrian Al-Sharq paper said.

    SOURCE: AFP


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