US says opposed to normalisation of 'brutal' Syrian regime after Assad's UAE visit

US says opposed to normalisation of 'brutal' Syrian regime after Assad's UAE visit
The US State Department said they would 'not lift or waive sanctions' on the Assad regime, after normalisation efforts.
2 min read
US State Department spokesman Ned Price stated the US will 'not express support for efforts' to normalise the Syrian regime [Getty]

The US is opposed to efforts to normalise the "brutal" Syrian regime after Bashar Al-Assad's recent visit to the UAE. 

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the administration "has not and will not express any support for efforts to normalise or rehabilitate the... dictator Bashar al-Assad".

It comes following Assad's controversial trip to the UAE on Friday, which marked his first visit to an Arab country since Syria's civil war erupted in 2011 leading to hundreds of thousands being killed in brutal regime assaults on opposition areas.

Price said the US was "profoundly disappointed and troubled" by the UAE's hosting of the Syrian dictator.

"The United States will not lift or waive sanctions [on Syria] and will continue to impose new sanctions as necessary," Price told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"The US government remains focused on putting pressure on Assad by working with the international community to hold the brutal dictator and his regime accountable for the atrocities he committed against his own people, some of which amount to war crimes," another anonymous State Department spokesman told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The department said they will attend the seventh round of constitutional committee talks on Syria - which resumed this week - where they plan to "work with allies, partners and the international community to advance a Syrian-led decision" on how to achieve progress in the war-torn country.

"We believe that stability in Syria... can only be achieved through a political process that represents the will of all Syrians," the State Department said.

Assad's visit to the UAE was considered to be another serious step toward normalisation of Assad after around 100 countries cut diplomatic relations with the regime following its brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy Syrian uprising in 2011.

Over 500,000 deaths have been estimated as a result of the war and more than five million Syrians were forced to flee to neighbouring countries.