Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia to hold up US sanctions on Syria
Saudi Arabia has announced that it will hold up its first sanctions relief package against the United States, including lifting restrictions on arms sales to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, following a phone call between the leaders.
Saudi Arabia said it was also expected to lift sanctions on Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, and allow more US diplomats to enter the country, in addition to allowing American companies to buy arms from them.
It was the first step towards the release of US-held diplomats from Riyadh, which is home to the US embassy and the Saudi embassy in Washington.
The US and other allies are still imposing sanctions on Iran and Russia for their role in Syria’s civil war, and Saudi Arabia and its allies have been supporting the Syrian government with military aid.
President Donald Trump has called the Saudi action a “red line” that must be crossed, and said it would be the beginning of a “very, very dangerous situation”.
The US imposed sanctions on Syrian government forces in response to a chemical attack in the country’s Damascus suburbs that killed more than 80 people in April, accusing them of killing civilians and spreading chemical weapons across the country.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday condemned the Saudi move and said the US was “working with our Saudi allies and partners” to ensure the release and release of American citizens held hostage in Saudi Arabia.
The United States has accused the Saudi-led coalition of violating the 2003 Syria ceasefire agreement that led to a ceasefire and the establishment of the transitional government.
The Syrian regime has accused US-backed rebel forces of violating that truce, which was brokered by the United Nations.
Russia and the United Arab Emirates, which back the Syrian opposition, have also called for a ceasefire.
The deal was struck at the request of the Syrian leader, Bashar al