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The European Union eases restrictions on Syrian exports to speed up aid deliveries


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The European Union has eased some export restrictions on Syria, which will allow aid organizations to deliver aid to the quake-stricken country without permission.

On Thursday, the Council of European Union states announced that, given the seriousness of the humanitarian crisis, it was decided to amend the punitive measures to allow for the speedy delivery of aid. The change is to apply for six months.

Specifically, aid organizations will no longer need approval from relevant EU countries to provide humanitarian goods and services to sanctioned individuals and entities.

The European Union reaffirmed that the current sanctions are directed against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his supporters and some sectors of the economy.

Before Thursday’s easing of restrictions, there were already widespread exceptions to ensure the provision of humanitarian aid across the country.

The current sanctions have not prohibited the export of food, medicine, or medical equipment by the EU to Syria, nor have they targeted Syria’s healthcare system.

The European Union imposed sanctions on 291 individuals and 70 companies for the ongoing violent repression of the civilian population. The country’s civil war has been going on since 2011.

Nearly 50,000 people died when two powerful earthquakes devastated southern Turkey and northern Syria on February 6, followed by more than 8,550 aftershocks.

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