Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations has blasted the United State and the European Union for imposing sanctions on his country, describing them as “economic terrorism.”

Bashar Ja’afari made his comments Friday in the Kazakh capital of Astana where Russia, Turkey and Iran held a new round of talks with the Syrian government and the opposition on steps to bring peace to the country.

His comments came as government-held parts of Syria are witnessing widespread fuel shortages that are largely the result of Western sanctions on Syria and its key ally Iran.

Ja’afari says: “This is economic terrorism that is escalating through unilateral economic measures.”

Source: The Associated Press

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