Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed meet in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on March 19, 2023. Photo/WAM
WASHINGTON – The United States (US) opposes countries that normalize relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The firm statement came on Tuesday (21/3/2023) after Assad made his second visit in as many years to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a close US partner.
“We will not normalize with the Assad regime, nor will we encourage others who are not making authentic and lasting progress towards a political resolution,” US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.
“We continue to urge anyone involved with Damascus to consider sincerely and thoroughly how their engagement can help meet the needs of Syrians wherever they live,” he said.
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan received Assad on Sunday and told him that it was time for Syria to return to the Arab fold.
A growing number of countries have improved relations with Assad. They believe he has effectively won the brutal war that broke out in 2011.
The United States under domestic law waives any assistance for reconstruction in Assad-ruled Syria without accountability for abuses.
Assad, aided by Russian air power, has largely recovered control of Syria after a conflict that has killed half a million people, displaced half the country’s pre-war population and witnessed the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS).
Along with Arab countries, Turkey’s neighbor, which supports rebels against Assad, has recently moved to improve relations.
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