U.S. TO END FUND ON SYRIA STABILISATION INITIATIVE

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The U.S. State Department, on Friday, said that, the fund of some 230 million U.S. dollars, targeted to support the stabilisation initiative in Syria would be withdrawn.

In a statement, State Department spokesperson, Heather Nauert, said that, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has authorised the Department of State to "redirect approximately $230 million in stabilisation funds for Syria, which have been under review."

She explained that, the fund could be offset by approximately 300 million U.S. dollars, that the Department has elicited since Apr, "in contributions and pledges from Coalition partners, to support critical stabilisation and early recovery initiatives, in areas liberated from the Daesh in north-east Syria."

The decision took into account "the President's guidance on the need to increase burden sharing with allies," she said, adding, the State Department will redirect these funds to support "other foreign policy priorities." However, she added that, "this decision does not represent any lessening of U.S. commitment to our strategic goals in Syria," and it does not affect U.S. humanitarian assistance in the war-torn nation.

"We are prepared to remain in Syria until the enduring defeat of the Daesh, and we remain focused on ensuring the withdrawal of Iranian forces and their proxies," she said.

U.S. former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, on Feb 13, pledged 200 million U.S. dollars, in support of the anti-Daesh coalition efforts, and recovery commitment in Syria. However, U.S. President, Donald Trump, reportedly ordered, in Mar, a hold on the funds, demanding more information on how the money is being used and urging other countries to step up to the plate and pay more.

Trump's remarks have triggered speculation of the U.S. possible retreat from Syria.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK