The American project to ban normalization with the Syrian regime: pressure to brake the impulse

The American project to ban normalization with the Syrian regime: pressure to brake the impulse
The American project to ban normalization with the Syrian regime: pressure to brake the impulse

The American project to ban normalization with the Syrian regime: pressure to brake the impulse

The United States expressed its dissatisfaction through several statements about the Arab rapprochement with the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, especially the decision to finally restore Damascus to its seat in the Arab League, but it contented itself with asking the countries that were involved in normalization with it to pressure it to implement the solution in accordance with United Nations resolutions.

On the other hand, deputies from the Republican and Democratic parties in Washington, who take a firm stance on Assad, chose to go to legislation as a step that legally obliges the US administration to exert pressure and employ its tools, by proposing a law that prevents normalization with the regime, as they did before that when they achieved after effort the “law”. Captagon” signed by President Joe Biden last December, to enter into force next June.

Yesterday, Thursday, a group of US lawmakers from the Republican and Democratic parties presented a bill aimed at preventing the US administration from recognizing Bashar al-Assad as the president of Syria, and strengthening Washington’s ability to impose sanctions, in a warning to countries that normalize relations with al-Assad.

The bill prevents the US federal government from recognizing any Syrian government led by Assad, who is subject to US sanctions, or normalizing relations with it. It also expands the US “Caesar Act”, which imposes a set of strict sanctions on Syria since 2020.

Joe Wilson: Countries that choose to normalize with Assad are going in the wrong direction

“Countries that choose to normalize relations with mass murderer without remorse and drug dealer Bashar al-Assad are going in the wrong direction,” said Republican Representative Joe Wilson, chairman of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia subcommittee, in a statement.

Wilson presented the bill with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Republican House of Representatives, Michael McCaul, and also with the two representatives, Republican French Hill and Democrat Brendan Boyle, who co-chair the “Free, Democratic, and Stable Syria” bloc, along with other representatives.

A senior congressional staffer who worked on the bill told Reuters that the bill is a warning to Turkey and Arab states that they face dire consequences if they interact with the Assad government. He added, “Syria’s return to the Arab League aroused the ire of members of Congress, and revealed the need to move quickly to send a signal.” He pointed out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was consulted in drafting the draft law.

Syrian pressure groups in Washington, especially the “Syrian-American Alliance for Syria”, which includes Syrian-American organizations and are led by Syrians residing in Washington, worked on drafting the provisions of the law with American lawmakers and blocs in the Republican and Democratic parties before reaching its final draft.

The Coalition issued a statement containing the most important axes under which the provisions of the law will be included, which came under the name “The Law of Combating Normalization with the Assad Regime of 2023”, noting that it is the strongest, largest and most important of its kind since the approval of the “Caesar Law” at the end of 2019 and with extremely important repercussions for the Syrian situation. Arab and international.

The American project to ban normalization with Assad

The bill stated that the policy of the United States does not recognize or normalize its relations with any government of Syria headed by Bashar al-Assad, and that it is the policy of the United States for its government to oppose recognition and normalization of relations of other countries as well with any Syrian government headed by Bashar al-Assad effectively and actively, including on behalf of By applying the mandatory primary and secondary penalties stipulated in the Caesar Act against violators, and for Washington to use all powers under the “Caesar Act” and other US laws to deter reconstruction activities in areas under the control of Bashar al-Assad.

The draft also stipulates that the US Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of the US Drug Enforcement Agency, and the heads of US ministries and agencies within a period not exceeding 180 days from the date of approval of this law, and annually thereafter for a period of five years, submit a report and a joint strategy to the committees. competent in Congress, describing in them the actions that other countries have taken, or are preparing to take, to normalize, communicate, or upgrade diplomatic, political, or economic relations with the regime. It also stipulated that the report should include a list of violations and crimes committed by the regime, Russia and Iran against the Syrians.

According to the draft law, the report should also include a complete list of all diplomatic meetings at the ambassadorial level and above between the regime and any representative of the governments of the Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others, in addition to controlling and monitoring the arrival of UN and international aid to areas of regime control to ensure that it is not stolen. or manipulate it.

Regarding these developments, Muhammad Alaa Ghanem, responsible for political planning in the “Syrian-American Council” and the “American Coalition for Syria”, considered that they in the coalition, the Council and other organizations have been working on this law for about five months until the arrival in consultation with several parties, especially Clusters in Congress for a clear draft.

Ghanem added, in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that “the draft law, which saw the light last Thursday, came with the agreement of the deputies of the two parties, and this is an important thing to pass,” noting that the provisions included in the law are “strict, comprehensive, and considered,” and that the most important of them is the first section. Regarding the prohibition of normalization with the regime, not only by the United States, and that the United States will monitor, through any administration, whether Republican or Democratic, regional normalization processes with the regime and combat them.

Ghanem explained that the law will allow the amendment of the “Caesar Law” to increase the effects of its penalties on individuals and entities that provide any assistance to the regime or one of its members. He stressed that the law sends a strong message from both parties, through an official law and not statements or statements, towards the countries that have normalized relations with the regime or are seeking to normalize, that their decision will have dire consequences, and that the Syrian crisis can only be resolved by meeting the Syrians on a joint project, away from the role of The regime and Bashar al-Assad are in the future of the country, and imposing Assad as a fait accompli is rejected and irreversible.

Abdul Majeed Barakat: We call on the United States and the international community to ensure that the Assad regime does not get away with it

And about whether the bill is independent, or will be linked to any other law or legislative procedure in the United States, for example the “Caesar Law” that was linked to the budget of the Ministry of Defense for its passage, Ghanem said that the law is independent, and enjoys great support and interest that makes optimism great for its passage. As an independent law, and even if it is necessary to link it to another budget, this will not change its effects. However, he pointed out that the new law will increase the effects of the “Caesar Law” penalties on individuals and entities that provide any assistance to the regime or one of its members.

Welcome the Syrian opposition

For its part, the Syrian opposition welcomed the draft law, through the “National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces,” as a member of the political body in the coalition, Abdul Majeed Barakat, said: “We welcome the American efforts to pass a resolution to prevent the normalization of countries with the Assad regime, the expansion of the Caesar Act, and the non-recognition of any government headed by it.” The war criminal Bashar al-Assad, and we stress the importance of approving the decision so that it enters into force as soon as possible, in light of the acceleration of normalization processes and the restoration of relations with the Assad regime.

Barakat added in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “Naturally, we support any decisions that would put pressure on the Assad regime and its supporters, and we call on the United States and the international community to intensify efforts to activate accountability and ensure that the Assad regime does not escape punishment for the many war crimes it has committed.” right of the Syrian people.

The Arab League reached a unanimous decision to end the suspension of Syria’s membership in the Arab League, and this was preceded by an Arab movement to restore bilateral relations with the regime or enter paths with its participation, justifying this with the need to communicate with Damascus to solve the Syrian crisis, but these moves did not gain the approval of the West, which made many Some countries express reservations about it.

In addition to the “Caesar Act”, which imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions on the regime, which was issued during the reign of former US President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden had signed last December the US Department of Defense budget for 2023 submitted by Congress, and it included a law to combat Captagon, which It is made by the Syrian regime.

The law states that the drug trade associated with the Assad regime is considered a “transient security threat,” and requires US agencies to develop a written strategy within a maximum period of 180 days, to disrupt and dismantle drug production and trafficking, and networks associated with the Assad regime in Syria and neighboring countries. The law is scheduled to come into effect next June, with measures that may include striking factories and drug smuggling routes by military means.

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