Officials react to Va. state senator's letter to Syrian president

WASHINGTON (WUSA9/AP) -- Reactions are pouring in after a Virginia state senator sent a letter praising Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Virginia state Sen. Richard Black's letter was posted on the Syrian president's Facebook page this weekend. In the letter, Black praises the Syrian army for fighting against forces that quote, "are dominated by our arch-enemy al-Qaeda."

The Washington Post first reported about the letter.

Read the FULL letter here.

Black, a Republican from Loudoun County, has been a member of the state senate since 2012.

Sen. Donald McEachin, a Democrat from Henrico, issued the following statement on Wednesday:

"It is bizarre that state Senator Dick Black would send a letter to the President of Syria. Especially one that heaps praise on President Bashar al-Assad — a man who has presided over terrible massacres and atrocities, including gas attacks that killed hundreds of his own people.

"As state legislators we should be spending our time on issues here in Virginia. Passing a budget that closes the coverage gap is job number one, and I don't understand why Dick Black is flattering strongmen overseas when he could be helping hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians right here at home."


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