Blinken's comments at a news conference on Wednesday came when a shift was underway in the Middle East among the Arab allies of the U.S., who are bringing al-Assad in from the cold by reviving economic and diplomatic ties.
Blinken said in the nine months since President Joe Biden took office on January 20, Washington has focused on expanding humanitarian access to Syria, sustaining the campaign against the ISIL (ISIS) group, and making clear the U.S. commitment to demand accountability from al-Assad's government.
Under Washington's Ceasar Act passed last year, the U.S. has attempted to prevent any reconstruction efforts or trade deals from being made without first enacting human rights reforms.
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