The Ministry of Transport announced that the Syrian ship, Laodicea, arrived Thursday at Tartous port to begin unloading its cargo as scheduled after it was detained by the Tripoli Port Authority for several days based on allegations made by the Ukrainian ambassador in Beirut.
The ministry said in a statement today, “Over the past days, the ministry and the Syrian Maritime and Transport Agency, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates and the Lebanese Ministry of Public Works and Transport, followed up on the issue of Laodicea ship that was implementing its scheduled trip.”
“The ship voyage comprised delivering food supplies (flour) to one of the Lebanese trading companies, then unloading its remaining cargo in Tartous port as usual,” the ministry clarified.
“The decision of the competent Lebanese judge, after examining the documents related to the ship and all the necessary procedures taken in this regard without having reached any of the Ukrainian ambassador’s allegations, confirms the invalidity of everything fabricated and based on politicization and loyalty to the U.S. administration and its allies in their war waged against Syria that involves imposing the unjust unilateral coercive measures on the Syrian people to prevent the arrival of foodstuffs to Tartous port,” the ministry went on to say.
“We highly appreciate all efforts that contributed to revealing the truth and culminated in the ship return, and confirm the ship’s continuous operation, along with all other vessels, in securing the Syrian people’s needs and sailing as scheduled”, the ministry concluded.
COMMENT FROM THE OBSERVER
The Ukrainian foreign ministry on Thursday urged Lebanon to reconsider its decision to let the ship go. According to Reuters, a Lebanese judge had issued a 72-hour seizure order on Monday, but it was lifted on Wednesday night. The Laodicea is one of three Syrian-owned ships sanctioned since 2015 by the United States for their alleged role in the war raging in Syria over the last decade. Those same three ships have been accused by the Ukrainian embassy in Beirut of regularly transporting stolen grains to Syria since Russia’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.