USA does not support efforts to standardize relations with the government of Syria or lift sanctions on Damascus until progress is made in the political process in the war-torn country, the US secretary of state said Wednesday.
As we have mentioned in The Truth NewsAntony Blinken’s comments come as some Arab countries recently began to improve relations with Syria.
Syrian President Bashar Assad and Jordan’s King Abdullah II spoke by phone last week for the first time since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Last month, Syria’s Defense Minister visited Jordan.
Crisis-stricken Lebanon is working to get electricity from Jordan through Syria, and a 10-year agreement to transport Egyptian natural gas through Jordan and Syria to Lebanon was also reactivated in September.
US says no to normalization with Syria
Blinken spoke during a joint press conference in Washington with the foreign ministers of Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Arab and Western countries blamed Assad for the deadly crackdown on the uprising that broke out in 2011.
Syria’s civil war has killed more than 350,000 people and displaced millions. The tide of war turned in late 2015, when Russia threw its military weight behind Assad. Still, Syria is struggling with sanctions imposed by the United States.
“We do not intend to make or express any support for efforts to normalize relations with Mr. Assad,” Blinken said when asked if the US supports that some Arab countries are resuming normal ties with the government of Assad.