UNITED NATIONS - Syria's UN ambassador complained on Thursday that his mission is unable to open a US bank account due to sanctions imposed on his country because of its 14-month assault on an opposition determined to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Last year several US banks suddenly closed the accounts of a number of diplomatic missions and foreign diplomats due to the high costs of monitoring financial activity to prevent money laundering and monetary support for terrorist activity.
Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told the UN budget committee that because of the closure of his mission's accounts last year, it found a new bank in Washington.
"This new bank has now closed our accounts unexpectedly and the Syrian delegation is now without a bank account here in the host country," he said. "We are now facing enormous difficulties as we search for another bank. All of the banks we have contacted have refused to open an account for our delegation."
"We would like to remind the host country of its obligations with regard to guaranteeing an appropriate environment for member states so that those member states can carry out their UN-related activities," he said.