Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has “done nothing” to restore his legitimacy and the United States will not normalize relations with the regime “any time soon,” the State Department said Thursday.
“Bashar al-Assad has done absolutely nothing to regain the legitimacy that he has lost through the brutal treatment of his own people,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
Assad has been propped up by Russia and Iran despite ten years of fighting after the Syrian uprising.
“There is no question of the US normalizing relations with his government, anytime soon,” Price said, adding that the US would continue to look to support the humanitarian plight of the Syrian people.
Asked if al-Assad “had to go” as previously stated by the last Democratic presidency under Barack Obama, Price said a political settlement was needed in Syria.
“We must do more, we know, to aid vulnerable Syrians, including many displaced within Syria, as well as the refugees who have had to flee their homes,” the State Department official said.
Price also said the US was reviewing “what we might do to advance the prospects for that political settlement” in Syria, but did not elaborate.