No real normalization with Syria, no return to Arab League: Brett McGurk

ERBIL, KRG, Iraq (North Press) – White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk, said on Sunday he does not see any real normalization with the Syrian government.

“Syria will not return to the Arab League,” he added.

“Let me be clear, the US is not going anywhere,” McGurk said on the sidelines of the IISS Manama Dialogue 2021.

On the Syrian issue, the US official denied the possibility of the return to international openness to Syria in light of the continuation of the current government.

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Talking about Iraq, McGurk said the US supports the sovereignty of Iraq, its constitution, and its legitimate institutions, in a way that enhances the security of the region.

“We are committed to establishing a long-term alliance with Iraq. We will continue to help Iraq militarily and we will continue to train the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga so that Iraq can defend its sovereignty,” he noted.

As for negotiations with Iran on returning to the nuclear agreement, McGurk said: “We will see what Iran can put on the table in Vienna, and Washington would use diplomacy to find avenues for de-escalation wherever they exist.”

He stated that the US will take appropriate measures if no agreement is reached in the new negotiation session to be held on November 29 in the Austrian capital.

The Manama Dialogue takes place each year in Bahrain, where more than 300 senior government officials from 40 countries, including the US, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, will participate in the three-day security conference.

Reporting by Hozan Zubeir