Wednesday, November 10, 2021

US slams UAE meeting with Syria's Assad, urges careful consideration

The US sharply denounced on Tuesday a visit from the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) top diplomat to Damascus, and issued a veiled warning to regional states to carefully consider any effort to normalize relations with the Syria.

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed earlier on Tuesday led an Emirati delegation of senior officials to Damascus where they were received by Bashar al-Assad in what marks the first such visit since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Biden administration is "concerned" by the meeting, as well as the "signal it sends."

"This administration will not express any support for efforts to normalize or to rehabilitate Bashar al-Assad, who is a brutal dictator," Price told reporters.

"We urge states in the region to carefully consider the atrocities that this regime, that Bashar al-Assad himself, has perpetrated on the Syrian people over the last decade, as well as the regime’s ongoing efforts to deny much of the country access to humanitarian aid and security," he added.

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