Washington: US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the US has ended the development fund for Syria, urging "rich countries" to pay instead.
In a tweet, Trump said "the US has ended the ridiculous $230 million yearly development payment to Syria." "Saudi Arabia and other rich countries in the Middle East will start making payments instead of the US," he said.
"I want to develop the US, our military and countries that help us!" Earlier on Friday, the US State Department said that the fund, which was targeted to support the stabilization initiative in Syria, has been ordered to be redirected, ramping up speculation that it would be withdrawn from the country. US former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced on February 13 that the US pledges $200 million in support of the anti-IS coalition efforts and recovery commitment in Syria, Xinhua reported.
However, Trump reportedly ordered in March 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.
He also said that his country will withdraw its troops in Syria "very soon," triggering speculation of the US possible retreat from Syria. Syria has always denounced the US military action in the country as uninvited aggression.