UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – The lower house of Congress passed a bill banning any US assistance in rebuilding Syria in territories controlled by the Syrian authorities, according to a statement by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the lower house.
“The policy of the United States will be that United States assistance provided for an early restoration, reconstruction or stabilization in Syria will be used in democratic Syria or in areas of Syria that are not controlled by the Syrian authorities under the leadership of Bashar Assad or related forces,” the bill says.
In January, the State Department said that Washington would not help Russia, Iran and the official Damascus in the country’s reconstruction until a “political transformation” of Syria is carried out. As David Sutterfield, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs, said, the condition for assistance is constitutional reform and holding elections under the auspices of the United Nations. According to him, this task will require at least $ 200-300 billion.
The document leaves the possibility of assistance. However, for this, the US president must provide the congressional committees with the justification and evidence that the Syrian authorities “have stopped attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure,” “take measurable steps to release all political prisoners”, “are in the process of organizing free and fair elections” , “stopped the development and deployment of ballistic and cruise missiles.” The list of what the Syrian authorities must demonstrate is 11 points.
The exclusion from the ban is made by projects that are implemented by local organizations and that “reflect the goals, needs and priorities of local communities in Syria”, as well as projects that “meet humanitarian needs, including mine clearance, food, medicine, medical goods and equipment, education and clothes “.
However, for each such project, the authors of the document require the US president to submit an annual report detailing the project, a report on the use of American funds for the project, etc.
Another condition is that no officials in Syria or their relatives are somehow are connected with partners on the project, which theoretically can finance the USA, RIA Novosti reported.