WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a strongly-worded bipartisan letter to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the administration on Monday, October 26, 2020, expressing deep concerns over the notion that various countries, in the Middle East and beyond, have taken steps to renew formal diplomatic ties with Bashar Al-Assad despite his ongoing and relentless brutality against his own people.
Citizens for a Secure and Safe America thanks them for their leadership. At C4SSA, we are committed to continuing our efforts to seeing that Syria becomes central to U.S. foreign policy so that the people of Syria will no longer have to suffer at the hands of the Assad regime and the region and world can become a safer and more secure place.
The letter, spearheaded by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) and Ranking Member Michael T. McCaul (R-TX) was signed by roughly 2/3 of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. It urges the Department of State to continue to make clear to America’s allies and partners that the U.S. opposes any efforts to renew diplomatic ties with or extend formal diplomatic recognition to the Assad regime.
It condemns the Assad regime’s various crimes against humanity including the bombing of civilian areas and infrastructure. It states that the Assad regime will only be permitted when it ceases its egregious acts against its civilians and carries out the release of political prisoners and allows for the safe and voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons, that it ends its support for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and ceases research, development, and acquisition of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and ballistic missile technology while allowing for full, unfettered access to the United Nations and other international observers to verify such activities have indeed ceased.
“We are pleased that the Administration has imposed sanctions under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, which we strongly supported,” the letter states. “We look forward to working with you to ensure ongoing robust implementation of the Caesar Act, including sanctions, in order to communicate to the international community that the United States opposes any efforts to rehabilitate Assad and his cronies absent the behavior changes outlined in law.”
The letter was signed by Representatives Theodore Deutch (D-FL), Joe Wilson, Brad Sherman (D-CA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ted S. Yoho (R-FL) D.V.M., Karen Bass (D-CA), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), William R. Keating (D-MA), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Ami Bera (D-CA) M.D., Brian Mast (R-FL), Dina Titus (D-NV), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), John Curtis (R-UT), Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Colin Allred (D-TX), Mark Green (R-TN) M.D., Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), David Trone (D-MD), Jim Costa (D-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), and Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX).