Lebanon Refuses to Enforce Syria Sanctions
The Hizbullah-dominated government of Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Monday it would not enforce sanctions imposed by the Arab League on neighboring Syria.
"We do not agree with these sanctions and we will not go along with them," Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour told Reuters.
“We said from the beginning that we won’t go along with any kind of sanctions against Syria because this [measure] will leave negative repercussions on many countries,” Mansour told the Al-Jadid television channel.
Mansour's remarks followed a warning by Syrian Economy Minister Mohammad Nidal al-Shaar who said sanctions on Syria will hurt every Arab.
“These sanctions will, in addition to the Syrian citizen, hurt every Arab citizen that deals with Syria,” Shaar said Monday.
He warned that sanctions will have “reciprocal negative effects” among Arab countries “that have a similar pattern of consumption.”
Shaar was referring to the Arab League decision on Sunday to impose economic sanctions on Syria in response to President Bashar Assad’s refusal to halt a violent crackdown on an eight-month uprising against his rule. UN human rights officials estimate close to 4,000 civilians have been killed since protests erupted.
Observers say Lebanon's opposition to sanctions comes both from the close ties between the Shiite terror militia Hizbullah and the intertwined nature of the two countries' economies.
Syria provides Lebanon's only overland trade route and Lebanese banks do brisk trade in Syria.