Published: Mon, August 20, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

U.S. Suspends Funds For Syria Stabilization Project

U.S. Suspends Funds For Syria Stabilization Project

A small fraction of that amount was released in June.

A statement issued by the US Department of State said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had pledged such support when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted his counterparts at a meeting of Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Brussels on July 12.

While the State Department welcomed Riyadh's contribution, it called on U.S. partners and allies "to do their share in this effort that helps bring greater stability and security to the region".

The funds will be reallocated "to support other key foreign".

Nauert, along with David Satterfield, the acting assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, and Brett McGurk, the special envoy for the anti-IS coalition, told reporters on a conference call that the USA would remain active in Syria until the Islamic State has been defeated.

This decision does not represent any lessening of USA commitment to our strategic goals in Syria.

U.S. President Donald Trump froze the funds in March while his administration reassessed Washington's role in the Syrian conflict, saying he wanted the U.S.to leave Syria. "We are remaining in Syria".

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Later on the same day, Nauert said in a teleconference with the media that Pompeo has appointed Jim Jeffrey, U.S. former ambassador to Iraq, to be the Secretary's Representative for Syria Engagement, a new position Pompeo created to work on the Geneva Process. Jeffrey, who retired in 2012, also holds the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service: career ambassador. Saudi Arabia and other rich countries in the Middle East will start making payments instead of the U.S.

Syria on Friday denounced Saudi financial support to the US-led worldwide coalition's role in northern Syria, stressing that such move indicates Riyadh's compliance with the United States administration at the expense of the Saudi people.

The United States has been aiding a military campaign in Syria which had taken back much of the territory once occupied by the militant group.

We will continue to provide life-saving, needs-based humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Syrians, support for the White Helmets and the UN's International Impartial and Independent Mechanism to hold the Assad regime accountable for serious crimes, as well as equipment and other measures to counter the effects of chemical weapons in northwest Syria.

However, the funds were put under review after his sacking in March this year, and from there it would have been returned to the Treasury Department on September 30 if it remained unspent.

The development comes as the USA helped to organize the evacuation through Israel of ISIL-linked White Helmet workers last month from Syria's south, where Syrian forces launched a new offensive against the remnants of the terror group.

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