Barack Obama has extended the sanctions on Syria. And that decision is getting a mixed response from Damascus.
The press is outraged. Tishreen newspaper is calling it a “foolish policy”. It was first put into place by George Bush’s neo-con hawks. It says the sanctions “have put the United States in an intractable impasse”.
Tishreen wants the sanctions to be replaced with “openness, dialogue and discussions through transparent practices, the foremost of which is an open and final reversal of the policy of sanctions against states and peoples”.
But Syrian officials say the sanctions renewal was just a “routine” measure. “The dialogue between Damascus and Washington is not over” the unnamed official added.
Obama signed the Executive Order on Thursday – the very same day his representative Jeffrey Feltman was in Damascus for talks. Obama kept it secret until Feltman’s plane had taken off, like a thief in the night.