May 18, 2020 / 6:12 PM / 19 days ago

Syrian minister says Western sanctions hitting health services

GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria’s health minister told the World Health Organization on Monday that “coercive and unfair” Western sanctions were hitting medical services trying to cope with coronavirus in his war-torn country and called for their removal.

“The economic sanctions which are coercive and unfair have been impeding the capacities of many essential services, in particular healthcare services,” Health Minister Nizar Yazigi told a virtual WHO annual assembly, referring to European Union and U.S. sanctions.

“We call once more on the removal of these measures so we can ensure the health and safety of our citizens,” he added, calling the sanctions an “inhumane blockade”.

Reporting by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay

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