WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today released the following statement on reports of U.S. partners pursuing normalization with the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria:
“Bashar al-Assad has inflicted enormous suffering on the Syrian people, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Syrians and committing crimes against humanity with assistance from Russia and Iran. Rightly, the international community has cast out his regime for these atrocities. Additionally, Congress passed the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act to punish those who have supported Assad’s campaign of slaughter.
“It is disappointing that some U.S. partners, including members of the Arab League, are losing their resolve to punish Assad by looking to normalize relations, including through energy deals that would involve payments to the Assad regime. The conflict in Syria has destabilized the entire Middle East region. Normalizing relations now will only allow that destabilization to continue. We remain committed to working with the international community until the Syrian people receive proper justice.”