Without Syria, Peace Will Remain Elusive

By focusing primarily on Israel and the Palestinians in its strategy for peace in the Middle East, the Bush administration is ignoring a third essential player – Syria. Secretary of State James Baker's call on Israel to "lay aside, once and for all, the unrealistic vision of greater Israel and forswear annexation," and his equally blunt call to the Palestinians "to speak in one voice … and amend the Palestinian Liberation Organization covenant and resort to a dialogue of politics and diplomacy" was certainly courageous, balanced, and overdue. Peace will not be achieved, however, without Syria's ultimate cooperation. Syrian President Hafez Assad's self-imposed mission to shape the Arab agenda on the Palestinian and Lebanese issues has often strained his relationships with his fellow Arab leaders and further complicated the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

May 25, 1989 Read more
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