US: No Syria rebuilding before UN-backed political process

Orient Net 2018-08-18 06:13:00

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Acting US Assistant Secretary David Satterfield said on Friday (August 17) the United States and other countries would not contribute to Syria’s full reconstruction until there was a “credible and irreversible” political process underway to end the conflict, Reuters reported.

“There is not going to be by international agreement reconstruction assistance to Syria unless the UN validates that a credible and irreversible political process is underway,” Satterfield told a conference call.

Both the Russia and Assad regime want international funding to rebuild Syria, he said.

Russia joined the war on Assad’s behalf in 2015, turning the momentum in his favor. Assad also enjoys robust support from Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

McGurk said Saudi Arabia had contributed $100 million and United Arab Emirates had pledged $50 million in donations to stabilizing programs. Australia, Denmark, European Union, Taiwan, Kuwait, Germany and France also participated, he said.

“We are remaining in Syria. The focus is on the enduring fight against ISIS,” said McGurk.

In its early stages, the war shattered Syria into a patchwork of areas held by different forces. The fighting has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced more than half the pre-war population from their homes.

Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, said the US maintains its leadership in the coalition, but is now emphasizing sharing the financial burden for reconstruction.

A report by the UN’s Arab countries agency ESCWA has cited experts as saying the volume of destruction of Syria’s physical capital and its sectoral distribution exceeded $388 billion.