Syria: The UN Investigation and the Challenge to Asad

Dr. Steven Heydemann, Director,
Center for Democracy and the Third Sector at Georgetown University,
discusses Syria and regional politics as the investigation into the
assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri poses
serious challenges for the Asad regime. The ongoing UN investigation
into Hariri’s death last February has implicated high-level Syrian
government officials. The UN Security Council has also noted that Syria
still has to provide full and unconditional cooperation with the
inquiry. Late December 2005 former Syrian Vice-President Kadam said the
killing could not have taken place without the approval of Syria’s
President Bashar Asad, further tightening pressure on the regime. What
are the prospects for President Asad? What are the implications for
regional stability – particularly for Lebanon? What options are open
for US policy in the region.

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