The United States has expressed concern about attempts to legitimize the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
This came against the backdrop of the UAE Vice President, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, receiving Assad on Friday, in Dubai, on the latter’s first visit to an Arab country since 2011, according to statements by US State Department spokesman Ned Price, late Friday.
“We are deeply disappointed and concerned by this apparent attempt to legitimize Bashar al-Assad, who remains responsible for the death and suffering of countless Syrians, the displacement of more than half of the Syrian population, the arbitrary detention, and the disappearance of more than 150,000 men, women, and children,” Price said.
He added that his country “does not support efforts to rehabilitate Assad, and does not support efforts to normalize relations with him,” stressing that Washington has clarified its position on this to its allies, according to what was reported by American media, including the “Newsweek” news site.
The US State Department spokesman stated that his country “urges countries considering dealing with the Assad regime not to forget the horrific atrocities committed by the regime against Syrians over the past decade,” as well as “the regime’s continuous efforts to prevent the arrival of much humanitarian aid and provide security to the country.”
Yesterday, the President of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, met with the Vice President of the UAE, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in Dubai, in the first visit to an Arab country since 2011.
The official UAE news agency, WAM , stated that Al Maktoum received Assad and his accompanying delegation in Dubai, which includes his Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad (without details of the visit).
This is the first visit of its kind by the head of the Syrian regime to an Arab country, since the suspension of Damascus’ membership in the Arab League in 2011, as a result of the Assad regime’s suppression of peaceful protests calling for the transfer of power, which plunged the country into a devastating war