Amjad Ismail Al-Agha / Syrian writer and researcher
In the midst of rearranging the region’s papers with their political titles, and the Arab openness movements that frame the Syrian scene; There are American concerns related to the nature of the Arab moves towards Damascus, as well as the new formulas of cooperation with the Syrian state, to re-“float Damascus” again in the region, but within that, there are no clear American intentions to enter into debates with the Arab parties, which are engineering headlines of rapprochement with Damascus. Which was translated by the US State Department spokesman, Ned Price, when he said that “Washington’s position on the Syrian state has not changed, and that now is not the time for normalization, and it is not appropriate to improve relations with Damascus.”
The American statements confirm, even if they appear to be reticent about restoring Arab-Syrian relations, but they indicate the possibility of reaching what might be called a “disclosure clash” with the Arab countries sponsoring Syria’s return to its Arab position, which also confirms that there are American reservations that may appear evidently during this period. coming, which may affect the course of Arab moves towards Damascus.
It is understood that the American statements and reservations were based, in form, on an unchanged political position regarding the political system in Damascus, but in the depth and content of the American reservations, there are what can be considered strict messages to stop the Arab rapprochement with Damascus, especially since the new Middle Eastern scene, “maybe.” He predicts new equations for dealing with Damascus, and placing the United States within the framework of a de facto policy that threatens American calculations in the region, and is based on the need to prevent Damascus from floating regionally, especially since the United States is closely watching and fears similar steps to move against the Syrian state, which It means, effectively, dropping what was approved through the US-imposed Caesar Act, the series of measures that US policy operates in in the context of dealing with Syria, and the network of issues linking the US, Syria, Turkey and Russia.
The United States, with its current administration, does not want to outwardly deviate from what is happening with regard to Syria, but it may temporarily hide its position regarding what is happening with regard to Arab policies with Damascus, and perhaps the current American administration may not have alternatives in terms of dealing with these policies, or imposing sanctions on what It is happening and will happen in the paths of relations in the coming period, especially with the speed of the Arab movement towards Damascus, and the talk about the need for Syria to resume its role in the Arab League, and to change the current position, which confirms the priorities put forward by the Arabs, especially that the next Arab summit in Jeddah will witness a Syrian presence prominently.
The American reservations about re-establishing rapprochement with Damascus may be engineered in specific contexts, but they will not lead to a number of strict measures towards the countries of rapprochement with Damascus, specifically Egypt and Saudi Arabia, for reasons that can be summarized as follows:
First – the United States still views Saudi Arabia as a strategic partner in the region, in addition to Saudi Arabia’s ability to influence the energy market, which Washington places in the context of its long-term strategic challenges. From another perspective, the United States will maintain relations with Saudi Arabia, within Frameworks for cooperation and need. Evidence for this is what was mentioned by the Saudi Press Agency, that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, and during the meeting, developments in the regional and international situations of common concern were reviewed.
Ahead of the visit to Saudi Arabia, Sullivan said, the United States seeks to strengthen the often tense relations with Riyadh. Regardless of the foregoing, however, Sullivan’s visit is the highest-ranking visit by an official in US President Joe Biden’s administration, since the presidential visit to Jeddah in July 2022, and comes in the wake of the Riyadh-Tehran agreement last March mediated by China.
Second – It is true that US-Egyptian relations are marred by some problems, but the branching and intertwining of relations between them gives those relations immunity within specific and disciplined frameworks, despite American reservations about Egypt, in terms of human rights, pluralism, democracy and political inclusion, but at the same time, the US administration needs a role Al-Masry in specific files, such as the Palestinian issue, security in the Gaza Strip, as well as the situation in Libya. As a result, the United States may not dare, at this time, to apply punitive measures against Egypt, and in addition to the above, Russia and its influential dimension in the system of relations American-Egyptian, this reinforces American fears about shifts in the current Egyptian attitudes and directions towards Russia in the entire region and not in Syria, in which Russian policy has succeeded in repositioning its elements and its resident military and strategic influence, which represents a real American concern about a growing Russian role with the support and backing of parties Arab and weighty, and for this reason the United States does not want the collapse of the contract of besieging Syria, and encircling the areas of movement in the region, especially since a number of files have not been resolved, especially with the presence of the Turkish side and its major accounts in northeastern Syria, and in the Mediterranean, which already prompts the need to exercise caution. From any moves from countries like Egypt in particular.
Third – The US administration, in its current reality, has specific assessments about what is happening throughout the Middle East, especially those shifts towards the United States, which may represent a challenge to US policy at this time, and measuring the degree of its dealings with current developments, which raises an important problem in the rules of Discipline and dealing with the United States in the region, the prestige of American politics, and the extent to which it deals with what will happen in the coming period in which the US administration will be preoccupied with the presidential elections.
The American approach to what is happening in the region in general, and Syria in particular, is based on keeping international policy issues within specific frameworks, and focusing, at the present time, on domestic American issues. Therefore, Washington does not wish to enter into a state of rams with Riyadh and Cairo, even if It would have contented itself with managing the scene and conveying messages out of fear of greater openness at the Arab level, with an eye on what is happening in terms of real and decisive developments, and not linked to humanitarian or moral dimensions, and the occurrence of humanitarian disasters that could be a direct entry point to the resumption of relations with Syria at this time, or to build on what Important developments are taking place that may have priority in the coming period, and need to go beyond reservations or objections to what is happening in the region in terms of developments that may be a prelude to stopping, or at least reducing the rush towards the regional and Middle Eastern order, which is what the US administration is working on. And Israel, through the formulas of the Negev, Manama, security peace and economic peace, as an alternative to the failure of political peace.
The elite of the above, the United States will continue to move towards Syria, according to a specific equation built on firm rules and foundations and through approaches linked to a system of continuous and effective sanctions within the framework of imposing the siege, and cordoning off the expansion of the Syrian state, which is what the Arab countries will work on to break the siege through procedures and measures It is urgent, as appeared from the recent tracks of action, especially since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has begun to move in the Arab world, which may disturb the US administration, despite its possession of pressure cards in restricting and besieging action towards Syria at the present time.