Syrian Roadmap For Regional Integration

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was invited by Saudi Arabia to attend the Arab league summit. Heads of state of this 22 member grouping will be meeting in the Saudi Arabia on May 19. The invite was extended by Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Jordan Mr Nayef bin Bandar al-Sudairi who travelled to Damascus as Saudi Arabia and Syria have broken diplomatic relations more than a decade back in the wake of Assads crackdown during civil unrest. Syria was also thrown out of the Arab League which a major grouping of the Arab countries and holds considerable influence over internal policies.

Recent overtures to Syria by it’s neighbours and other Asian countries assumes significance as it indicates towards convergence of opinions among regional powers. For long the middle powers in the Arab world has been standing with contrarian views and were quite prepared to back up with military interference. The majority of conflicts in the Arab world has been caused by this short sighted approach and unthoughtful intervention by global powers from one or the other protagonists. Take the case of Syria even though it was a civil unrest but the events that followed led to jumping of US, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. It divided Syrian landscape in multiple pockets of influence and military tussle for prominence. This game of power projection by global players have only one common casualty and that were the people of Syria. Sufferings of Syrian people were dragged on endlessly. The present thaw in relations with Damascus has seen President Assad travel to UAE in March this year. While his foreign minister was invited to Moscow for a four way talks between Syria, Turkey, Iran and Russia. Infact the role played by Russia and China in present improvement of diplomatic relations across the Arab World assumes great significance. It is an indication that Arab countries, traditionally aligned towards West, are exploring newer approach to their age old challenges. If it leads to establishment of peace and greater accommodation of mutual concerns it must be welcomed by all. The cost of armed conflicts on the civilian population can be immeasurable. The key players in the region especially must reconcile to let peace be given a solid support.

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