US says 'profoundly disappointed' by Syrian President Assad's visit to UAE

US says 'profoundly disappointed' by Syrian President Assad's visit to UAE
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The US said it was 'profoundly disappointed and troubled' by what they called an 'apparent attempt to legitimise' Assad, as the Syrian president visited the UAE amid his country's ongoing civil war.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price urged states considering engagement with Syria to think about the Assad regime's "horrific atrocities" on Syrian civilians [Getty]

The United States, in a statement responding to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's visit on Friday to the United Arab Emirates, said it was "profoundly disappointed and troubled by this apparent attempt to legitimise" Assad.

"We urge states considering engagement with the Assad regime to weigh carefully the horrific atrocities visited by the regime on the Syrians over the last decade, as well as the regime’s continuing efforts to deny much of the country access to humanitarian aid and security," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

Assad's visit was his first visit to an Arab country since Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011.

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The Syrian president's office revealed on Friday evening that Assad met with Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai. The two discussed expanding bilateral relations between their countries.

The visit sends the clearest signal yet that some Arab states are willing to re-engage with Syria’s once widely shunned regime, although many Arab states led by Qatar remain opposed to normalising Assad.

(Reuters, AP)