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The Obama Administration Reaches Out to Syria: Implications for Israel

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Publication Date: March 2009

Publisher(s): Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): David Schenker

Funder(s): Wechsler Family Foundation

Funder(s): Wechsler Family Foundation

Series: Jerusalem Issue Brief v.8 no.23

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Government (Foreign relations)
International relations (International peace and security)

Keywords: peace process; syria; israel; barak obama

Type: Report

Coverage: United States Syria Israel


In early March, two senior U.S. officials traveled to Damascus for the highest-level bilateral meeting in years, part of the new administration's policy of "engagement." Based on Syria's track record, there is little reason to be optimistic that the Obama administration will succeed where others have failed. Damascus today remains a brutal dictatorship, which derives its regional influence almost exclusively through its support for terrorism in neighboring states and, by extension, through its 30-year strategic alliance with Tehran.