Anti-Normalization Act with Assad: Congress curbs the indulgence of the Biden administration

Anti-Normalization Act with Assad: Congress curbs the indulgence of the Biden administration
Anti-Normalization Act with Assad: Congress curbs the indulgence of the Biden administration

It is not possible to read the urgency of the Foreign Relations Committee in the US House of Representatives to pass the “Anti-Normalization with Assad” bill for the year 2023 by an overwhelming majority, in isolation from the Arab summit that will be held in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Friday, with the participation of the Syrian regime for the first time since its membership was frozen 12 years ago.

In the face of the state of Arab openness to the Syrian regime and the state of “indifference” to the US warnings against the normalizers with the regime, the US administration found in the new draft law, which was presented only two days before its approval, an occasion to pass messages to the leaders of the Arab countries who will meet with the head of the regime, Bashar al-Assad, at the summit. , stating that Washington will not support “free” normalization, and will obstruct the provision of Arab funds to the regime through the “Caesar” law.

The Committee on Foreign Relations had passed the bill supported by US lawmakers from the Democratic and Republican parties on Tuesday, which prevents US administrations from recognizing any government headed by Bashar al-Assad, which expands the sanctions imposed on the regime under the “Caesar” law.

record time

Dr. Mahmoud Barazi, head of the American Coalition for Syria, the organization that put forward the project and participated in its drafting, says that the American legislators intended to pass the bill before the summit, because it is customary for any bill to be discussed in the House of Representatives only after months of It was put forward, but in the case before us, the project was discussed only two days after it was put forward, to the astonishment of everyone.

While Barazi stresses the role of the Syrian-American coalition in preparing and proposing the project, he points out, during his interview with Al-Modon, the cooperation of members of the US Congress. He says, “The procedures were accelerated, and the clear message to the Arab countries came through the support of members of both parties for the draft law.”

In his opinion, the passage of the bill indicates the stability of the American position on the Syrian file, and that there is no going back on the need to deviate it from the future of Syria, and he says: “Therefore, normalization with the Syrian regime is an investment in a dead body, in light of the refusal to re-float from the most powerful country in the world, that is, United State”.

American need

Passing the bill from Congress does not mean an increase in American interest in the Syrian file. Rather, the bill serves to possess a card to put pressure on Saudi Arabia, which is taking steps with the Arab countries that support normalization with Assad, without coordinating with them.

In this context, the writer and politician residing in America, Ayman Abdel Nour, says that the adoption of the law is an American need, as the administration of President Joe Biden is keen to follow two paths, a path led by the White House Coordinator for Security Affairs for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk, and is based on coordination with Arab countries regarding the file. Syrian, and another to correct the first path, through pressure.

Abdel Nour’s statement is supported by information obtained by Al-Modon from a responsible opposition source, confirming that “Saudi Arabia has informed the opposition that its approach to normalization with the Syrian regime enjoys American approval.”

The text of the draft law underwent some amendments that expanded the effects of the “Caesar” law until 2032. Abdel Nour describes the amendments as “good ones that preserved the force of the law,” and told Al-Modon: “The Democratic Party requested some amendments in coordination with the Republican Party, and the amendment in general It strengthens the spirit of the law.”

Despite the widespread momentum that the bill enjoyed, Syrian opposition circles believe that the United States is not serious about preventing the floating of the Syrian regime, especially under the Biden administration, and infers this from the absence of US sanctions packages imposed on personalities and entities affiliated with the Syrian regime.