Athanasios Konstantinou to ST: The EU's Sanctions against Syria's Foreign Minister will only make positive communication more difficult

The decision that was adopted yesterday by the European Union (EU) on adding Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Faisal Al-Miqdad to its sanction list  will only make positive communication and dialogue more difficult, especially when it targets an established diplomat like Mr. Al-Miqdad, according to Member of European Parliament Athanasios Konstantinou.
The MEP told the Syria Times e-newspaper- in response to a question on the reason behind imposing sanctions on the Syrian Foreign Minister at this time- that “Mr. Al-Miqdad is a diplomat all his professional life. His conduct and behavior are well known to the EU from his long lasting service at the UN. What has changed is that for a few months now, he is heading Syria’s Foreign Ministry. I think that was reason enough for “certain” EU bureaucrats to include him in the list of 289 Syrian officials that the EU has blacklisted, accusing him for “violent repression” of civilians.”
He underscored that the EU sees that kind of repression only with its one eye. “The other one does not for example, see the need to impose sanctions on Turkey, for her support/recognize as deputy Prime minister of the so called, illegal Northern Cyprus state, of Erhan Arikli who is wanted by the Interpol (!) for the murder of a Cypriot (Greek) citizen!”
Konstantinou pointed out that he stated many times in the past and he still remain of the same opinion, those sanctions against Syria, is not the best way to assist the Syrians and endorse stability in the region. “Obviously time has proved this point,” he added.
“The sanctions against the Foreign Minister will only make positive communication and dialogue more difficult, especially when against an established diplomat like Mr. Al-Miqdad. As European Union, we have a duty to promote and broaden channels of communication and not to suppress the voices we do not agree with,” the MEP concluded.
On November, 22, 2020, President Bashar Al-Assad appointed Mr. Faisal Al-Miqdad as Foreign Minister to replace the Walid Al-Moallem, who died in November 16, 2020.
Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour