Syria: Dilemmas of Engagement

Mona Yacoubian, Special Adviser on
the Muslim World Initiative at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), and Murhaf Jouejati, a Syrian-born Professor of
Middle East Studies at the National Defense University’s (NDU) Near East South
Asia Center for Strategic Studies, discusses the
complexities of U.S. engagement with Syria, both positive and negative. These complexities are
significant at a time when relations with Syria have come into focus on a range
of issues from regional cooperation towards the war in Iraq, to mid east peace
and Israeli security. The US is also set to introduce a United
Nations Security Council resolution to establish an international tribunal into
the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005. The
resolution follows a UN investigation which implicated senior Lebanese and
Syrian officials linked to Syrian President Bashar al Assad. What are the
prospects for the resolution and what role will France and Russia play in
the Security Council? What are US fundamental interests in the region towards
Syria, Lebanon, and Israel? What
repercussions will US-Syrian dynamics have on the war in Iraq? 

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