Posted by Joshua on Thursday, July 12th, 2007
"Open for Business: Syria’s Quest for a Political Deal," by Rime Allaf, July 2007: Chatham House
- The Syrian regime no longer feels weak and as its prospects of survival improve, its self-confidence is increasingly apparent.
- The tactics of Syria's opponents have mostly been counterproductive, giving the Syrian regime increased leverage. Attempted isolation has not weakened the regime and external pressure has strengthened its domestic position.
- Meanwhile, its regional position has been bolstered by policy failures in Iraq and Lebanon.
- The Syrian leadership is now betting on certain favourable developments which will continue to boost its confidence, both in the region and vis-à-vis Western policy.
- It is futile to conduct policy towards Syria on the basis of antipathy towards the regime. Syria's national interests must be recognized for there to be progress.
- Syria will not 'capitulate' to US demands merely to become another 'moderate ally'. The Syrian regime is not looking for popularity, but for recognition. It seeks a business deal rather than a love affair.