U.S. Concerned by UAE Minister’s Meeting With Assad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
Syrian President Bashar Assad (R.) speaks with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday. (SANA via AP)

The United States is concerned by a meeting between the Emerati foreign minister and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, urging states in the region to carefully consider “atrocities” perpetrated by Assad.

The meeting was a sign of improving ties between Assad and a U.S.-allied Arab state that once supported rebels trying to overthrow him.

“We are concerned by reports of this meeting and the signal it sends,” Price said at a regular press briefing. “As we’ve said before, this administration will not express any support for efforts to normalize or to rehabilitate Bashar al-Assad, who is a brutal dictator.”