FILE – In this April 5, 2018 file photo, destroyed buildings line a street damaged during fighting between U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters and Islamic State militants, in Raqqa, Syria. Amnesty International and Airwars, a London-based watchdog group, said Thursday, April 25, 2019, that the U.S.-led coalition killed more than 1,600 civilians in the northern Syria city of Raqqa during months of bombardment that liberated it from the Islamic State group. They said the toll came after the “most comprehensive investigation into civilian deaths in a modern conflict.” (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

DAMASCUS, Syria – Syria's ambassador to the United Nations has blasted the United State and the European Union for imposing sanctions on his country, describing them as "economic terrorism."

Bashar Ja'afari made his comments Friday in the Kazakh capital of Astana where Russia, Turkey and Iran held a new round of talks with the Syrian government and the opposition on steps to bring peace to the country.

His comments came as government-held parts of Syria are witnessing widespread fuel shortages that are largely the result of Western sanctions on Syria and its key ally Iran.

Ja'afari says: "This is economic terrorism that is escalating through unilateral economic measures."

A final statement issued at the end of Astana's 12th round rejected President Donald Trump's formal recognition of Israel's sovereignty over Syria's occupied Golan Heights.

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