Christian Solidarity International (CSI) notes with regret President Biden’s decision of May 6, 2021, to extend economic sanctions on Syria for another year.
These sanctions are a key driver of the disaster unfolding in Syria today. Over the past year, intensified U.S. sanctions, combined with the Lebanese banking crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, have pushed Syria into an unprecedented economic catastrophe. More than 90% of the Syrian population is living in poverty, food and fuel prices are skyrocketing, and electricity is becoming scarce. Many observers are predicting famine.
When President Biden was inaugurated one hundred days ago, six senior Syrian church leaders wrote to him, asking him to end the economic sanctions on their country. They were joined by nearly ninety academics, human rights activists, diplomats, and religious leaders. It is disappointing to see that, so far, their voices are not being listened to.
“It is not clear why, after ten years of bloodshed and economic devastation, the United States feels the Syrian people require more punishment,” Dr. John Eibner, the international president of CSI, said. “This policy of collective punishment – outlawed under the Fourth Geneva Convention – does nothing to advance the U.S.’ stated goals of promoting democracy and human rights in Syria. It only causes the Syrian people to suffer.”
CSI respectfully urges President Biden to reverse this decision.