Friday, March 27, 2009

"The best outcome for Washington would be that the summit in Doha ... fails to resurrect SYRIA"

David Schenker, at WINEP, here

"...Despite appearances, however, differences -- particularly regarding Iran and support for "resistance" -- persist. Syria continues to refuse suggestions that it change the strategic nature of its relationship with Iran and is pressing Egypt and Saudi Arabia to adopt a more sympathetic stance toward "resistance groups." In an interview with al-Safir on March 25, Syrian president Bashar al-Asad downplayed progress on reconciliation, likening the process to an airplane that "took off . . .[but] if the engines power subside[s], the plane will collapse....
...Perhaps not surprisingly, given Syria's improved status within the Arab League, the topic of Lebanese elections does not appear on the agenda. Syria, however, did manage to insert two items into the program: a reaffirmation of Arab opposition to U.S. economic sanctions on Syria and a condemnation of "the attempts aimed at politicizing the principles of justice." The second point reflects Syria's rejection of the Hariri Tribunal, echoing al-Asad's recent threat that if the tribunal were politicized, "Lebanon would be the first to pay the price." ...
....the best outcome for Washington would be that the summit, which almost certainly will lend its imprimatur to an indicted Sudanese war criminal, will not further legitimize Hamas"

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