U.N. chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said the United States and other nations should avoid imposing sanctions on refugees because “people in Syria are hungry” and “people who are displaced are hungry”.
The U.K. Foreign Office said it was “deeply concerned” about the comments by U. S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and said the two countries should discuss the “serious threat” posed by refugees to U. K. national security.
Tillerson, in a speech on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy, said: “It is in the best interest of the United Kingdom and the United State that we work with others to ensure that there is no use of coercive measures.”
The United States has imposed sanctions on Russia over its alleged role in Syria’s civil war, which has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced nearly half a million more.
Tillerson and other top U.s. officials have also warned that they would not use economic sanctions to pressure Russia to end its support for the Assad regime.
The Foreign Office statement added: “We also urge the Russians to refrain from resorting to coercion and intimidation in the future.”
Earlier, U.n. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said the U