WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement condemning the Arab League’s decision to re-admit Syria:
“We condemn the Arab League foreign ministers’ decision to re-admit Syria, the latest in a troubling trend of U.S. partners in the Middle East and North Africa normalizing relations with the Assad regime. More than 12 years of atrocities should be evidence enough to prove the Assad regime is a global pariah. Improving ties with the regime will send the wrong message to its Iranian and Russian enablers as Putin repeats in Ukraine the atrocities he committed in Syria. Arguments that normalization with Assad will somehow eject Iran and Russia from Syria are not compelling, as they are the primary guarantors of Assad’s survival. To top it off, recent overtures to Assad by his neighbors have been met with a flood of Syrian Captagon trafficked over their borders.
“The Assad regime remains uninterested in reaching a just and comprehensive political solution—as mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2254. These normalization efforts therefore threaten to further freeze conflict and serve as an obstacle to accountability. We urge the Biden administration to make clear its opposition to such efforts ahead of the Arab League Summit scheduled for May 19th, and signal its willingness to impose consequences, including enforcement of Caesar sanctions, on those that undermine accountability for the regime’s atrocities by restoring ties with Assad and his regime.”