Syria debates sanctions on US

Syrian legislators have begun debating a draft law that would prohibit trade dealings with United States companies in response to US sanctions imposed on the Arab country last month.

    Syria has recently strengthened ties with China

    Inaam Abbas, a lawmaker who read out the draft law to parliament on Sunday, said the initiative was "in response to the calls of the Arab people to boycott US products due to the unjust policies that the US espouses toward the Arab and Islamic nation." 

    The draft bill, introduced by independent lawmaker Muhammad Radwan al-Masri, holds the signatures of 127 members of the 250-seat parliament. 

    "Due to the actions of the United States that do not respect people and disregard their future ... this law has been introduced," said the bill, a copy of which was distributed to all legislators. 

    'Unlimited bias'

    Following the debate, the draft bill was transferred to parliament's committee for institutional and legislative affairs for further study. If the committee approves it, the bill will be sent to Syrian President Bashar al-Asad for approval.

    Otherwise, the law will be returned to parliament, where it must win the approval of two-thirds of the members to pass.

    "Due to the actions of
    the United States that
    do not respect people and disregard their future ... this law has been introduced"

    Draft bill

    Al-Masri said the law was also a result of the US's "unlimited bias" toward Israel, the killing and destruction in Iraq and the Syria Accountability Act. 

    In May, US President George Bush banned all US exports to Syria except for food and medicine and barred Syrian flights to and from the US after long-standing complaints that Syria "was supporting terrorism and undermining US efforts in Iraq". 

    Accountability Act

    The sanctions were based on the Syria Accountability Act, a law passed last year that calls for sanctions against Syria for its alleged support of terrorism. Syria denies the US claims and says the sanctions are political. 

    Josef Swaid, an independent lawmaker from the National Syrian party, told reporters that the law would not affect currently operating companies or already concluded business agreements. 

    Swaid said the door of dialogue with the US is not closed. "Even if the law is passed, dialogue will stay on and relations could be reassessed and put once again on the right course."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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