BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:45 P.M.) – The European Union has expressed its support for the call by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, to reduce the sanctions imposed on some countries in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We discussed the need for sanctions not to impede urgent deliveries of medical equipment needed to combat the coronavirus,” the European Union Commissioner for Foreign Policy ,Joseph Burrell, said after a meeting held Friday in Brussels for foreign ministers of member states of the bloc.
Burrell continued: “We are working on a joint statement in support of the invitation of the United Nations Secretary-General. We will see if it gets the approval of the European Union member states.”
The European official expressed his hope that the declaration being prepared will receive sufficient support, pointing out that Europe believes that the sanctions contribute to exacerbating the dangers of the epidemic, especially in countries that are experiencing conflicts such as Syria, Libya and Yemen.
He explained: “In some countries, such as Syria, Yemen and Libya, the negative impact of the coronavirus can be escalated due to the conflicts taking place there, and for this reason we fully support the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General to coordinate a common global response to the pandemic, and we support his call for the immediate ceasefire throughout the world. ”
In the same context, the European official expressed his “satisfaction” at the low level of violence in some conflict areas, with the exception of Libya, which remains a source of concern for Europeans.
Guterres has previously called on countries of the world, especially members of the “G-20” group, to abolish previously imposed sanctions on other countries to remove obstacles to efforts to combat the emerging corona virus.