Arab League Announces 'Economic Warfare' on Syria

On Monday, Syria’s foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, denounced the Arab League’s sanctions on his country as “economic war.”

The sanctions which were imposed on Syria by the Arab League are meant to stop trade and investment between Syria and members of the Arab League. The Syrian economy is still feeling the effects of the sanctions that were imposed on it by the United States and the European Union.

Under the United States and European Union sanctions, tourism and oil have halted in recent months.

The Arab League’s sanctions were backed by the 19 member states meeting in Cairo, who were still fuming from the lack of a peace treaty to stop the Syrian government’s crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Foreign minister al-Moallem stated that the League's actions were a “declaration of economic warfare,” and that the only ones to suffer will be the Syrian people, while the regime will survive.

The United Nations claims that Syria has killed more than 3,500 people since March, in response to the rejection of an initial peace agreement that was to be overseen by Arab civilian and military observers.

Among the sanctions to be included are, according to the New York Times, “a travel ban against scores of senior officials, a freeze on Syrian government assets in Arab countries, a ban on transactions with Syria’s central bank and an end to all commercial exchanges with the Syrian government.”

Some specific consumer goods won’t be banned to lessen the impact on ordinary citizens of Syria.

The Local Coordinating Committees, whom guides the anti-government demonstrations in Syria, hailed the move by the Arab League, but worries that the regime might be able to dodge the restrictions and the only people that would suffer are the poor and middle class citizenry.