HOW CAN THE UNITED STATES COUNTER NORMALIZATION WITH ASSAD IN THE MIDDLE EAST? - On May 11, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introduced the ‘Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act’ which could bar the U.S. government from normalizing relations with any Syrian government led by Bashar Assad and enhance the U.S. government ability to impose sanctions on regional individuals and entities that provide support to his regime. The proposed legislation came days after the Arab League, led by Saudi Arabia, allowed Syria back into the League based on a shared understanding to counter Captagon trade and to create a roadmap for national reconciliation and refugee return into Syria.
In this event, hosted by the Atlantic Council's Syria Project, we discuss the unique challenges facing U.S. lawmakers in a changing Middle East order that warmed-up to Assad, especially amidst Chinese and Russian efforts to edge out the United States in the region, and how this impacts Washington’s strategy in the region.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 07/19/23