US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US position will not change until there is “irreversible progress towards a political solution”.
The United States does not intend to support efforts to normalize relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or to rehabilitate him until there is irreversible progress towards a political solution in Syria. , said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Blinken’s comments at a press conference on Wednesday came at a time when a shift was underway in the Middle East among the United States’ Arab allies, which are bringing al-Assad out of the cold by resuming economic ties and diplomatic.
Jordan, a staunch ally of the United States, fully reopened its main border post with Syria in late September, to boost countries’ struggling economies and build pressure from Arab states to re-enter Syria after avoiding it during the war in Syria.
King Abdullah of Jordan also spoke with al-Assad for the first time in a decade this month while the Egyptian and Syrian foreign ministers met last month on the sidelines of the General Assembly of Nations. United in New York, in what Egyptian media said was the first meeting at this level for about a decade.
Likewise, the UAE’s Ministry of Economy said on Sunday that the Gulf state and Syria have agreed on future plans to strengthen economic cooperation and explore new sectors.
The UAE also reopened its embassy in Damascus in 2018 – and earlier this year said sweeping US sanctions on Syria made it harder for the war-torn country to return to the Arab League.
“What we have not done and what we do not intend to do is express any support for efforts to normalize relations or rehabilitate Mr. Assad or lift a single one. sanction against Syria or to change our position to oppose the reconstruction of Syria, until moving towards a political solution, which we believe is necessary and vital, ”said Blinken.
The United States has suspended its diplomatic presence in Syria since 2012.
Blinken said that in the nine months since President Joe Biden took office on January 20, Washington has focused on expanding humanitarian access to Syria, sustaining the campaign against ISIL Group (ISIS) and the clear affirmation of the United States’ commitment to hold al-Assad’s government to account. .
Under Washington’s Caesar law passed last year, the United States has attempted to block any reconstruction effort or trade deal without first passing human rights reforms.
But Syria has not been a foreign policy priority for the Biden administration, analysts noted, as Washington has largely focused on fighting China. The administration has yet to apply sanctions under Caesar law.
“As we move forward in the time to come, limiting violence, increasing humanitarian aid and focusing our military efforts on any terrorist group that poses a threat to us or to our partners… These will be areas of intervention. reviews for us, ”Blinken said.
The war in Syria has left at least 350,000 dead, according to the UN. The conflict, which began as a mass uprising against the al-Assad regime in March 2011, quickly turned into a full-fledged war and sparked the world’s largest refugee crisis.