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Tuesday July 23, 2024

US won't normalise relations with Syria despite readmission to Arab League

US criticises Arab League's decision to bring back Syria, saying Bashar al-Assad didn't deserve normalisation of ties

By Web Desk
May 09, 2023
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on May 7, 2023. — AFP
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo on May 7, 2023. — AFP 

Days after Arab League brought Syria back into the alliance, the United States announced that it will not normalise relations with the Bashar al-Assad-led regime.

Criticising the middle eastern alliance's decision to readmit Syria, the US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel on Monday said that Assad didn't deserve normalisation after the brutal civil war his country had waged, a foreign news agency reported.

Arab League embraced Syria after over a 10-years hiatus, as part of its efforts to normalise the international organisation's strained relations with Assad, a move which was strictly opposed by Washington.

“We continue to believe that we will not normalise our relations with the Assad regime and we don't support our allies and partners doing so either.

“We do not believe that Syria merits readmission to the Arab League at this time,” Patel told the reporters.

Moreover, a statement released by the White House announced that the US sanctions on the middle eastern nation remain in full effect as a reaffirmation of the country's stance on Syria.

The United States has repeatedly voiced opposition to reconciliation with Syria and domestic law forbids any assistance for reconstruction without accountability for abuses during the war. But the Arab League voted on Sunday to welcome back Syria, effectively concluding that Assad had won the war that has killed half a million people and displaced half the pre-war population since 2011.

In November 2011, the body suspended Damascus over its crackdown on peaceful protests, which began earlier that year and which spiraled into a conflict that killed more than 500,000 people, displaced millions and battered the country’s infrastructure and industry.

However, Syria's readmission means it can resume its participation in the alliance's meetings immediately, and also calls for a resolution of the crisis resulting from the country’s civil war, including the flight of refugees to neighbouring countries and drug smuggling across the region.

Additional input from AFP