DAMASCUS: US bathroom manufacturer American Standard has decided to end its controversial association with Syria’s ruling Ba’ath Party.
The announcement was made at its annual shareholder’s meeting in New Jersey yesterday after what sources claim were “intense discussions” regarding the sponsorship deal, which had been in place since the 1970s but had become a contentious topic since the start of the uprisings in Syria early last year.
“It is with great regret that due to the ongoing situation in Syria we have decided to terminate our long-running relationship with the Ba’ath Party,” said American Standard chairwoman Azure Blue in a statement.
“While we would like to extend our thanks to the nationalistic Syrian-led branch of the Arab Socialist political group for over forty years of mutual support in promoting our extensive collection of high-quality bathroom fixtures and fittings across the Middle East, our shareholders have voted against renewing the contract and hope the decision will persuade president Bashar Assad to find a way to end the bloodshed.”
Experts expect American Standard will soon stop manufacturing their range of EcoSilent Ba’ath bathtubs, made popular across the region in the 90s for their revolutionary ‘Ba’athist Whirlpool Movement’.
Yesterday’s decision brings to an end a turbulent decade for American Standard in the Middle East. In 2003 the company was forced to terminate its association with Saddam Hussein following the US invasion of Iraq, and issue a public apology for a series of adverts that featured the former dictator relaxing in a luxury bathtub together with the slogan ‘Bubble Ba’ath’.