The Political Viability of Rekindling International Relations with the Syrian Regime
Mar 21, 2023 951

The Political Viability of Rekindling International Relations with the Syrian Regime

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The calamitous earthquake that ravaged Syria on February 6, 2023, not only wrought physical devastation but also opened a poignant humanitarian window, prompting a mobilization among some Arab nations. These countries sought to launch a second initiative aimed at normalizing relations with the Syrian regime, particularly in the aftermath of the stumble and ultimate failure of the inaugural initiative proclaimed by King Abdullah II back in 2021.  

The trajectory of normalizing relations with the regime commenced in 2018, underpinned and sponsored by Russia, with the engaged countries harboring diverse and varying objectives, none of which have been realized over the ensuing years. Nonetheless, these nations have revisited and injected new momentum into this path, seemingly propelled by promises from Russia and hopes that the prevailing economic and humanitarian conditions would coax the regime into making concessions.  

In fact, the motivations of the countries that have leaned towards normalizing relations with the regime are not tied to a change in the regime's behavior or the proximity of a political solution, but rather to their various and divergent interests, a significant portion of which cannot be realized due to the regime's inability, and even unwillingness, should any tools and policies be available to it.  

This report endeavors to delve into the most salient motivations and interests, as well as the regime's stance on the normalization trajectory and the policies it has adopted in response. Additionally, it aims to assess the ultimate feasibility of this direction. The report targets stakeholders and observers of the normalization path with the regime, including researchers, decision-makers, and media professionals, as a contribution to understanding its reality and viability.