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US says it’s against upgrading relations with Damascus after Türkiye-Russia-Syria talks

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WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES: United States Department of State building is seen in Washington D.C., United States on December 13, 2022. (Celal Güneş - Anadolu Agency)
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Jan 04, 2023 - 07:27 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US State Department on Tuesday issued its first take on a trilateral engagement involving Türkiye, Syria and Russia, stressing that “now is not the time to normalize relations” with Syria.

“Our policy…has not changed. We do not support countries upgrading their relations or expressing support to rehabilitate the brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad,” said spokesman Ned Price at a press conference.

“We urge states to carefully consider the Assad regime’s atrocious human rights record of the past 12 years as it continues to inflict atrocities on the Syrian people and to deny access to life-saving humanitarian aid,” he added.

Price said US support for a political solution in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 “remains firm” and Washington will continue to work with allies and partners at the UN.

“We’ve made very clear to all of our allies and partners that now is not the time to normalize relations, now is not the time to upgrade relations.

“And countries should be mindful of the atrocious human rights record that the Assad regime has inflicted upon its people,” he added.

The Turkish, Russian and Syrian defense ministers met in Moscow on Dec. 28 and discussed counterterrorism efforts in Syria, according to Türkiye’s Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar.

The meeting tackled the Syria crisis, the refugee issue and joint counter-terrorism efforts against all terrorist groups in Syria.

Akar also reiterated that the Turkish, Russian and Syrian defense ministers agreed to continue tripartite meetings to ensure stability in Syria and the wider region.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said a second meeting could take place in mid-January.

*Rabia Iclal Turan contributed to this story

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