On 15 October 2020, the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See was invited to an audience with Cardinal Mario Zenari, the Apostolic Nuncio to Syria.

The prelate described a country ravaged by war, whose population is dying of starvation due to economic sanctions.

He insisted that such sanctions have no impact on the "regime" they are intended to destroy, but punish instead the civilian population.

Since the 13th century, the Holy See has condemned any form of siege and later "economic sanctions", equating them mass attacks on civilians, on a par with the use of weapons of mass destruction.