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Arab Countries Tried to Block Anti-Assad Normalization Law

A foreign minister from an Arab nation, whose identity remained undisclosed, participated in a meeting with Congress members to contest the bill, Syria TV says.
Arab Countries Tried to Block Anti-Assad Normalization Law

Mohammed Alaa Ghanem, a policy official in the U.S. Coalition for Syria, revealed on Wednesday that Arab nations had actively worked to thwart the anti-normalization legislation concerning Assad.

In an interview with Syria TV on the program “What Remains” (Ma Tabaqqa), Ghanem disclosed that both Arab and non-Arab nations, engaging with the Syrian regime, had reached out to members of Congress in an attempt to derail the anti-normalization bill with Assad.

According to Ghanem, a foreign minister from an Arab nation, whose identity remained undisclosed, participated in a meeting with Congress members in Washington, dedicating a significant portion of the hour-long session—20 minutes specifically—to contesting the bill.  

U.S. lawmakers pass “Anti-normalization Law with Bashar al-Assad’s Regime” 

At dawn on Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives resoundingly passed the “Anti-normalization with the regime of Bashar al-Assad” bill, garnering broad bipartisan support.

U.S. House to Vote on Anti-Normalization Bill

Mohammed Alaa Ghanem, a policy officer at the U.S. Coalition for Syria, announced on the X platform that the bill was approved with a commanding majority of 389 votes in favour and only 32 against.

Expressing pride in this significant political and humanitarian achievement, Ghanem extended gratitude to all those who responded to their calls and supported them, particularly highlighting the contributions of the Syrian-U.S. community over the past 13 months. He emphasized that reaching this pivotal moment not only marks a milestone in U.S.-Syrian relations but also underscores the advocacy efforts of the Syrian-American community since the inception of the Syrian revolution.

Ghanem elaborated on the extensive efforts invested in advancing the bill, which began in the early months of 2023 and persisted with daily dedication until the vote’s culmination. Over this period, the organization conducted at least 327 meetings and various visits to Congressional offices, dispatched thousands of letters and engaged in hundreds of contacts. These efforts included drafting the original bill, mobilizing bipartisan support, negotiating its provisions, safeguarding against deletions, navigating approval in the Foreign Relations Committee, and countering campaigns aimed at undermining the bill’s credibility and urging Congress members to reject it.

What is the draft resolution? 

“The bill explicitly states that U.S. policy prohibits any formal action to recognize or normalize relations with any Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad, citing the regime’s past and ongoing atrocities against the Syrian people.

Furthermore, the legislation mandates Washington’s opposition to any other government’s recognition or normalization of relations with the Syrian regime by fully implementing the sanctions outlined in the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 and Executive Order 13894. These measures include the freezing of assets and the imposition of entry bans on individuals involved in Syria.

Simultaneously, the bill aims to utilize all available means to impede reconstruction efforts in areas under the control of the Syrian regime. It prohibits any federal official or employee from taking actions or allocating funds that imply U.S. recognition of Bashar al-Assad or his government.

For the resolution to become effective, it must pass both chambers of Congress (the House and the Senate) and subsequently be forwarded to the office of U.S. President Joe Biden for signatur as the final stage.”


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.

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