Durbin, Rubio Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Prohibit Normalized Relations With Assad’s Syria
New legislation also opposes recognition or normalization of relations by other governments with any Government of Syria that is led by Bashar al-Assad
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced new legislation to prohibit any official action to recognize or normalize relations with any Government of Syria that is led by Bashar al-Assad due to the Assad regime’s prior and ongoing crimes against the Syrian people. The bipartisan Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023 would also make it U.S. policy to actively oppose recognition or normalization of relations by other governments with any Government of Syria that is led by Bashar al-Assad, including by fully implementing the mandatory primary and secondary sanctions against the Assad regime.
Introduction of this new legislation follows the Arab League recently welcoming Assad to its May 2023 Summit in Saudi Arabia, despite horrific human rights violations—including the use of chemical weapons and widespread torture—committed since Assad’s repression of democratic protests that began in 2011.
“In 2012, I met with Syrian refugees in a camp in Southern Turkey, where more than half of the camp’s ten thousand refugees were women and children. It was a grim reminder of the human toll of the brutality of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, including the use of chemical weapons—and the situation has only worsened in the decade since,” Durbin said. “Assad must go. But until that time comes, it should be U.S. policy to prohibit any official action to recognize or normalize relations with any Government of Syria that is led by Bashar al-Assad. I hope our Senate colleagues will join Sen. Rubio and myself in sending this message to the world.”
“The murderous Assad regime should not receive any sort of international legitimacy. It is imperative for the U.S. government to establish the appropriate sanctions against a brutal and criminal tyrant who has committed crimes against humanity as well as tortured and murdered civilians,” said Rubio.
Bill text is available here.
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