US Officials React to Assad’s Participation in Arab Summit

US officials have deemed the presence of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the Arab summit in Jeddah not a turning point in the Middle East.

And according to the Washington Post, officials in Washington are pushing for continued US sanctions on Syria, emphasizing that regional rapprochement is not a sign of declining US influence in the Middle East.

The newspaper added that it also highlights the huge gap between the US and some of its closest partners in the Middle East over Syria, especially since the Biden administration, like the Europeans, has pledged to maintain a policy of isolation and pressure on Damascus.

U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity about the delicate diplomatic discussions, said they have consulted with Middle Eastern leaders about their moves to forge closer ties with Syria, and say the Biden administration supports the countries’ common goals in Syria, in including weakening the influence of Iran.

“There was disagreement over the tactics and sequencing of the operation, but there is broad consensus on the ultimate goals, including an understanding of Washington’s intention to maintain sanctions that prevent companies and countries from doing business with Damascus,” a senior US official said.

The newspaper also quoted in its statements a second US representative, in which he said: “This does not mean the collapse of American influence. This means that different countries, including our partners, have assessed the situation and decided to take a different approach, “highlighting that this is happening in every administration around the world and on a number of issues.

On the other hand, political analysts believe that the rift over Syria between Washington and key partners including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE also highlights the changing dynamics between the United States and the Middle East as Washington faces accusations that it is ignoring the region. focusing on competition with China and Russia.

Aaron David Miller, a researcher at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that while the idea of ​​America’s abandonment of the Middle East has been exaggerated because the Pentagon maintains important bases in Bahrain and Qatar, among other places, America’s growing focus on great power competition, in addition to riots. Politics in Washington and growing independence in the fossil fuel dossier have forced many countries in the region to hedge their bets.

Source: Washington Post newspaper

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