Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with President Bashar al-Assad and other senior Syrian officials during a visit to Damascus. Zarif told Assad that “the U.S.’s true intentions have come to light with regards to its refusal to lift unfair sanctions against nations during tough times of fighting” COVID-19, and the two sides discussed bilateral and regional matters including the Astana Peace Process. The U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement, James Jeffrey, reacted to Zarif’s trip by asserting: “if Iran were truly concerned about the health and safety of the Syrian people, it would support the UN-led political process under UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and withdraw IRGC, Hizbollah and other terrorist forces under its command from the entirety of Syria… Iran's only contributions to Syria have been violence and instability”. He went on to stress that “we continue to offer humanitarian assistance to help address the coronavirus outbreak, while the Assad regime, Russia and Iran obstruct aid and starve the Syrian people of food and medicine”.
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