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During the same visit, the two leaders agreed that "the global situation is an historic opportunity for the peoples of the region," and stressed the need to make the most of it. Also during the visit, Assad predicted that "from now on, the doors of the international community will be open for
At the Conference of Arab Parties, held November 2009 in
Former Lebanese MP Nasser Qandil, who is close to the Syrian regime, summarized the situation in his weekly column in the Syrian daily Teshreen, using less diplomatic terms:
"In the [present] world war, aimed at breaking the strategic Syrian-Iranian alliance, it is the spear of the strategic American-Israeli alliance that has broken. [Now] a new era has begun that will completely reorganize our region, as reflected in the new American [policy] of turning to dialogue with
Syrian columnist Salim 'Aboud wrote in the daily Al-Thawra: "...
'Imad Fawzi Shu'eibi, head of the Data and Strategic Studies Center in Damascus, wrote an article in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Hayat in which he outlined Syria's foreign policy and its perception of its role in the region: "...Syria has regained its regional position, and has consolidated [this position] by means of [Hizbullah's] 2006 victory [over Israel] and through a policy of biding its time.
Syria is Pursuing a New Regional and International World Order
Based on this sense of self-worth, Syria is now working, along with its allies Iran and Venezuela, to create a new world order involving several blocs of countries, each with equal weight, as an alternative to what it sees as a unipolar order with America as the sole superpower. At the April 2, 2009
After an April 2009 meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Mu'allem, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, in a similar vein, "Iran and Syria must assist one another in creating a new world order...," to which Al-Mu'allem replied, "Syria calls for developing the relations [between the two countries] and for comprehensive cooperation with Iran in all domains." A few days later, Ahmadinejad said, "
As part of these efforts to establish a new world order,
1. The Effort to Implement the "
This strategy is based on an alliance between
Explaining the rationale behind this alliance, Assad said: "
During his visit to
It should be noted that Assad's statements regarding the good Syria-Iraq relations predated the outbreak of the crisis between
A similar hope was expressed by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Mu'allem in a speech to the parliament in which he reviewed
The creation of the Syria-Iran-Turkey-Iraq alliance is perceived as an expression of Syria's defiance vis-à-vis the current world order, as columnist Muhammad Zarouf wrote in the government daily Al-Ba'th: "...The region needs a strategic force that will put an end to the collapse and the disintegration that is spreading everywhere [in the region]. These allow the international forces to interfere in everything and to subjugate the region to their political will – which is not necessarily compatible with the interests and will of the region's countries and peoples... The aim is to establish a new regional force that will be able to take part in restoring balance to the world order, which suffers from unilateralism and from imbalance, due to the 'unipolar' control [i.e. by the U.S.] over the running of its affairs..."
In 2003, Syria-Turkish relations began to thaw, as evidenced by Assad's historic visit to
Assad attributed the strategic change in
Recent far-reaching developments in Syria-Turkey relations have led to the establishment of the Turkey-Syria High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, the mutual abolition of visas, joint military maneuvers, and the signing of cooperation agreements in a number of areas, including the military one.
Close relations are in the interests of both countries.
Likewise, since the AKP, headed by Erdogan, came to power,
The Arab Countries
At the annual Ba'th party conference, in December 2009, Syrian presidential aide 'Imad Hassan Turkmani clarified the Syrian perception, saying: "
Syria's striving to consolidate a regional alliance along these lines may reflect its understanding, based on the experience of recent years, that it cannot trust the Arab countries to support it in time of need, and that it must pull together an axis that currently bypasses the Arab countries, and will later be joined by them after they realize its strength and the advantages it offers. This policy has already borne fruit: One example of this is
At the same time, Syria is trying to label itself as a leader of the campaign for reconciliation in the Arab world, and it apparently seeks to lead this world, as evidenced by statements made to Syrian state television by presidential political and information advisor Buthayna Sha'ban: "Syria is a central player in the region, and no one can ignore that. It aspires to be the central player in obtaining the Arab rights, not only in the Golan Heights, but also in
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