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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Ankara - London - Saeed Abdulrazek and Asharq Al-Awsat

Washington Renews Rejection of ‘Normalization’ with Damascus

Barbara Leaf received the Syrian opposition delegation in Washington on Tuesday. (US State Department)

The US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf, stressed that no normalization would take place with the Syrian regime “in the absence of permanent political change."

The US State Department announced, in a tweet, that Leaf met with a delegation of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and reaffirmed that the US policy towards Syria “has not changed.”

The Bureau of Near East Asian Affairs in the Department of State said after the meeting: “No normalization with the Assad regime in the absence of enduring political change and strong support for UNSCR 2254 including the role of the Syrian opposition.”

On the other hand, the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces announced that a delegation from the Negotiations Committee met with Leaf in Washington on Tuesday, adding that the head of the delegation underlined that “any political solution in Syria must be in accordance with Security Council resolutions… and that the absence of a political solution and the achievement of the transitional phase will increase the tragedy of the Syrian people.”

Meanwhile, a meeting on Tuesday that brought together the defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of Türkiye, Russia, Iran and Syria, was described by Ankara as fruitful.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that his country sought, through its participation in the Moscow meeting, to achieve peace and stability in the region as soon as possible.

Upon his return from Moscow, Akar noted that the Turkish side stressed during the meeting respect for the unity and sovereignty of the Syrian territories, adding that the sole purpose of the presence of the Turkish forces in northern Syria was to fight terrorist organizations, including the Kurdish People’s Protection Units.

Pro-government Syrian media had confirmed that the Syrian delegation to the Moscow meeting reiterated the call for the withdrawal of Turkish forces from northern Syria.

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