“Syria’s Quest for a Political Deal” by Rime Allaf

"Open for Business: Syria’s Quest for a Political Deal," by Rime Allaf, July 2007: Chatham House

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  • 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.

Comments (8)

Atassi said:

Excellent analyses Rime..
I would speculate that being overly confidant, will lead to miscalculations by the tight-net leadership in Damascus, since they have a good track records of running into traps !!!
And I have to add, for the regime to be in an Open for Business state of mind, May not compel the intended disenchanted clients to engage them in a business transactions!!
In the other hand, in the business world we may be able to force someone to do business out of despair, but it’s a one time transaction!!

July 12th, 2007, 4:09 pm


t_desco said:

UN has identified a ‘number of persons’ in Hariri murder

The chief UN investigator in the Rafik Hariri murder said Thursday he has identified a “number of persons” who may have been involved in planning and executing the murder of the former Lebanese prime minister in 2005. Serge Brammertz said in a report to the UN Security Council that his investigators will pursue their work in coming months, and that more than 200 interviews have been planned on the Hariri murder and another 100 interviews on the killing of 17 politicians and journalists known for their anti-Syrian views.

Brammertz said his team had prepared a 2,400-page comprehensive report on the investigation, calling it a “significant step” in the efforts to find those responsible for the murder of Hariri on February 15, 2005. The attack also killed 22 people in a Beirut street.

He said a host of questions remain open, a task for the investigators to pursue in coming months.

The Lebanese government has provided “close and collegial” cooperation with the investigation while Syria and other governments gave “positive responses” to investigators’ requests, he said.

Brammertz said he plans to hand over the findings to Lebanon’s special tribunal judging the murders when it begins functioning.

July 12th, 2007, 4:44 pm


seeking the truth said:

God’s Side! said:

God has Israel’s back all the way, and those who goes against her(Israel) are fools are are cursed. God bless Israel!

Well, people with such a conviction make it that much harder to solve the Middle East conflict!

July 12th, 2007, 5:50 pm


R said:

You keep posting these blinkered revelations that Syria (Bashar) is in the clear – on what planet – most of the universe is no two minds that most of the ME terrorism eminates from Syria.

What gives???

Theres an elephant in the room (blog) – does no one see it

July 12th, 2007, 7:49 pm


K said:

Rime Allaf sums up the Syrian regime’s war on Lebanon in 1 quick sentence:

“The Lebanese government and parliament were divided, assassinations of prominent Lebanese continued, and armed confrontations with new radical groups based in the Palestinian camps have begun, with pro-Syrian and anti-Syrian forces throwing the blame at one another.”

Reading this, one might think random “prominent Lebanese” were being assassinated, rather than M14 journalists and MPs. You wouldn’t guess, either, that the “new radical groups” have exclusively targeted civilians in M14 strongholds (Sunni, Druze, but especially Christian areas), the Lebanese Armed Forces, and UNIFIL. No, it’s not a Syrian war against Lebanon’s movement for independence from Syrian tyranny: it’s just “prominent Lebanese” “being assassinated”, “armed confrontations beginning”, and 2 sides “throwing blame”. Isn’t it splendid!

July 12th, 2007, 8:02 pm


R said:

Oh, by the way


Ahhem – seems the investigation is not a “Bust” after all –

Spin it, spin it good

July 12th, 2007, 8:05 pm


Mir_Roshan_Ali said:

Anybody else having problems with posting?

BTW, it’s me, t_desco, and I’d love to comment on the new Brammertz report. 🙂

July 12th, 2007, 8:35 pm


Alex said:

t-desco, I released it. I don’t know what is it today with our sensitive anti-spam plug-in!

July 13th, 2007, 12:13 am


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