Reconciliation between Syria and the Arab League: A sign for Washington

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Syria SyriaThe position of the Gulf countries on Syria took a radical turn when it took strong classes against the Islamic groups that took power in some Arab countries during the Arab Spring. In addition, the conflict between the Arab countries and Turkey has also prompted some nations to change their initial position based on the rule ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’

Many of the obstacles to Syria’s inclusion have fallen. There is no clear veto on Saudi Arabia, whose position represented a critical issue both about the Gulf area and what concerns the Arab countries. Although the position of the United States is still unclear, there is no declared veto in this case either; moreover, with the presence of the sanctions provided for in the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, political reconciliation is still tricky. The absence of a clear US initiative vis-à-vis Syria will encourage countries to take action, and some may even advance their propositions. Given the substantial immobility, the idea that the United States is obliged to accept these steps could also gain ground.

In all of this, considering Syria’s position, a return to the Arab League may not represent any added value as they have now been out of it for over a decade. However, tactically, it is important to start breaking down the taboo of dealing with the government and reopening Syria to the international community.

Syrians also know that the escalation of the situation in Lebanon and the expected escalation in Iraq will create the conditions for the international community to end the crisis. Meanwhile, the Iranian presence and its containment are strategic issues that the Syrians know how to deal with. To these elements is added the Russian company; in fact, the Syrians could create space for a political maneuver with Russia because of a regional agreement. There is the possibility of resuming the long-blocked peace initiative with Israel, probably with Russian mediation.

On the other hand, the lack of an international plan to tackle the Syrian question will encourage the various countries to fill the void and seek a solution to the crisis by focusing more on economic and strategic opportunities. Suppose efforts within the Arab League succeed in reintegrating Syria, mainly since Algeria hosts the next summit and is one of the strongest actors in favor of this project. In that case, the next phase will increase international efforts to normalize relations with Syria. At this stage, everyone is taking a step forward, with an eye on the US reaction, so ultimately, it will be Washington who decides whether the orange light will turn red or green.

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