Syrian minister denounces ‘American chaos’, says States must respect the UN Charter

Bassam Sabbagh, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s 78th session.
UN Photo/Cia Pak
Bassam Sabbagh, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s 78th session.
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“The policies of creative chaos adopted by successive American Administrations in our region to serve their geopolitical and selfish interests have led to destabilization and insecurity,” he said in his remarks on the final day of the Assembly’s general debate.

He said United States has spent billions of dollars to demolish and destroy development achievements made over decades and contributed to the emergence of a phenomenon of extremism and terrorism.

The UN Charter and other international instruments had not been spared the impact of this “American chaos”, the Vice Minister continued, arguing that the past decade had seen “increasing tendencies to misinterpret and misapply provisions of the Chater... manipulation of international agreements and treaties and politicization of human rights.”

Syrian Golan

One of the main tenets of the UN Charter was the sovereign integrity of all states, he continued, and spotlighted in that regard “violations committed by Israel in the occupied Golan,” and pointing out that any acquisition of the territory of others by force is an occupation, “and any illegal military presence on the territory of any sovereign state is a clear violation of this Charter and a clear violation of international law that “must end immediately and unconditionally.”

The Vice Minister said that that Israel has occupied Arab lands in Palestine and the Syrian Golan since 1967 until now, has changed the demographic composition and institutional structure, especially through attempts to forcefully impose Israeli citizenship on the people of the occupied Golan, not to mention the plundering of the Golan’s natural resources and the seizure of the lands of Syrian farmers.”

“It is the most heinous form of grave violations of the United Nations Charter and international humanitarian law,” the stated.

He condemned in the strongest terms those “Israeli crimes and attacks” and denounced what he described as “the silence of some countries that declare themselves protectors of international law and human rights law.”

He affirmed his country's legitimate right to restore the entire occupied Syrian Golan up to the line of June 4, 1967.

Earthquake response

He went on to say that the Syrian Government continues to make efforts to deal with the effects of the devastating earthquake that struck Syria this past February, and the quake added a burden to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the ongoing war since 2011.

The Vice Minister said that the earthquake destroyed hundreds of buildings, infrastructure, and service facilities, caused thousands of victims and injuries, and made tens of thousands homeless, noting that the Syrian government was keen to provide all the necessary facilities for the arrival of humanitarian aid and relief workers to all affected areas.

He expressed appreciation to the UN for launching an urgent humanitarian appeal to respond to catastrophic repercussions of the earthquake.

“The United Nations and international organizations working in Syria granted open approvals to facilitate and accelerate the procedures for the entry of emergency relief supplies to support those affected, including opening border crossings by a sovereign decision to facilitate the response,” Sabbagh added.

Full statement available in Arabic here.

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