A US State Department spokesperson confirmed to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that US President Joe Biden’s administration “will not be lenient when it comes to the implementation of the Caesar Act―which was imposed in 2019 after the previous administration’s Congress (both the House of Representatives and the Senate) enacted it―while preserving the diplomatic facilitation of humanitarian and relief work, to reach a peaceful solution in the country that war has been tearing apart for the past 10 years.”
The spokesperson said that the new administration “took upon itself to not target trade lines, aid or humanitarian activities for the Syrian people, and that the law will not affect the Lebanese people or the Lebanese economy,” adding that “the Caesar Act certainly targets persons or entities that support the Assad regime and impede a peaceful political solution to the conflict, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2254.”
The spokesperson did not comment on the new State Department appointments or the proposed names, after it was reported in the media that the diplomat David Brownstein, who served in the US Embassy in Central Africa, will be assigned to work in the field in the US military bases in the Kurdish region as a successor to Ambassador William Roebuck. Roebuck worked in the region as US Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Syria.
The Biden administration had confirmed that it would not withdraw from Syria anytime soon, even for moral reasons.
In his first press conference on Tuesday, Ned Price, the official spokesperson for the US Department of State, said that the new US administration will reactivate its efforts to promote a political settlement in Syria. The US will pursue this policy with the aim of ending the civil war, in close consultation with Washington’s allies and partners in the UN.
Price stressed that addressing the political settlement must take into account the basic reasons that led to the continuation of nearly a decade of civil war. He added that President Biden’s administration will use all tools at its disposal―including economic pressure―to hold people accountable and achieve meaningful reform in the country, while continuing to support the role of the UN in negotiating a political settlement in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.