US House of Representatives to vote on bill opposing normalization with al-Assad

The US House of Representatives - March 1, 2022 (Reuters)

The US House of Representatives - March 1, 2022 (Reuters)

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The US House of Representatives is set to vote today, Tuesday, February 13, on a bill that opposes normalization with the Syrian regime, after the bill was introduced last year in the House of Representatives, then the US Senate.

According to the official website of the House Majority Leader, Steve Scalise, the House will vote on a package of laws, including the Anti-Normalization with Assad’s Regime Act, which is a modified version of what it was in 2023.

The American bill prohibits the federal government from recognizing or normalizing relations with any government in Syria led by Bashar al-Assad.

The bill also extends the duration of the Caesar Act and adds powers to the President of the United States to punish those involved in stealing from Syrians. It also imposes measures that increase the possibility of monitoring commercial transactions that could breach sanctions.

The Anti-Normalization with the Syrian Regime Bill, introduced by a group of American lawmakers, was initially presented in the House on May 11, 2023. It was unanimously approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee after only two days from its proposal, at a speed described as “exceptionally fast for legislative norms.”

In conjunction with Arab attempts

This measure coincides with Arab attempts to reintegrate al-Assad into the Arab fold, which was evident when Saudi Arabia hosted al-Assad on its territory to participate in the Arab Summit held in Jeddah, on May 19, 2023, following Syria’s reinstatement in the Arab League by the regime.

For the resolution to become effective, it must be passed by Congress (the House and the Senate) and then sent to the office of the US President, Joe Biden, to sign it as the final stage.

Jordan had initiated an Arab-driven initiative for a political solution in Syria, which included the demands and offerings to the regime. However, the issues addressed by the Jordanian Initiative took a contrary direction, applying everything it opposed.

On July 13, 2023, the US House of Representatives introduced a resolution calling for the establishment of a special international court to prosecute the Syrian regime for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the Syrian people. This would be achieved by creating an international judicial mechanism for Syria through the United Nations General Assembly (to bypass the Russian veto).

Additionally, the US Department of State issued a report on June 30 of the same year to the US Congress about the written strategy it will follow to disrupt and dismantle the drug production and trafficking related to networks associated with the Syrian regime, as part of the steps of the American Captagon Act enacted at the end of the previous year.

 

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