Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, issued the following statement on the State Department’s decision today to expel Syrian diplomats from the United States.  The State Department action comes four days after Royce and Engel introduced H. Res. 520, which calls on the Obama Administration to withdraw official recognition of the Assad regime.

Royce said:  “I welcome this overdue action.  The brutal Assad regime is killing men, women and children.  Syrian diplomats should go.  But it would be withdrawal of our diplomatic recognition of the regime that would signal strong American support for the Syrian people.”

Engel said:  “The suspension of the Syrian Embassy’s activities in Washington D.C. and its honorary consulates around the country is an important and welcome step.  After three years of brutality by Assad against his people, including the horrifying use of chemical weapons on civilians, it is crucial that we increase the pressure on his regime.  The longer this war goes on, the more dangerous and unstable the region will become.  

“I look forward to working with newly appointed Special Envoy, Daniel Rubinstein, and hope the Administration will take this opportunity to put forth a detailed strategy to help bring the longstanding conflict to an end.” 

Note:  Text of H. Res. 520 is available HERE.