The United States on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to normalizing relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after he made his second visit in two years to the United Arab Emirates, a close Washington ally.
“We are not going to normalize relations with the Assad regime,” US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters, stressing that the US government would not encourage anyone to do so in the absence of real progress on towards a political solution.
“We ask everyone involved with Damascus to think honestly and carefully about how their involvement can help meet the needs of Syrians wherever they live,” the spokesperson added.
On Sunday, UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed Assad and convinced Damascus of the need to return to an “Arab environment”.
More and more countries are trying to restore relations with Assad, claiming that he actually won the brutal war that started in Syria in 2011.
Under domestic law, the United States has ruled out any aid to Syria’s reconstruction under Assad’s rule until it is held accountable for wrongdoing.
With Russia’s backing, Assad managed to regain control of most of Syria after a conflict that killed half a million people, displaced half the country’s population and saw the rise of the Islamic State.
In addition to the Arab countries, neighboring Turkey, which supports factions fighting Syrian government forces, has recently taken steps to restore relations.
I’m Jackson Smith, a news writer for the website News Unrolled. I specialize in world news, as my recent articles have covered topics such as global politics and international economics. My work has been featured in major publications like The Guardian, Forbes, and Reuters. I also have experience working with small media outlets all over the world.