Syria’s Foreign Policy in the Regional Penumbra

Zakia Aqra

Abstract


Syria’s foreign policy has been in a penumbra caused by regional developments and shifts in the international balance of power, which at times granted Damascus with opportunities to promote its interests, while, at other times, deprived it from room-for-manoeuvre. Simultaneously, distrust was a constant factor in foreign policy formation, which derived from the perception of continuous betrayal from Arab allies especially after the 1973 War, which left Syria alone to strive for the return of the Golan Heights. The elements of mistrust along with the volatility of the regional and international system forced Syria to rely on strong allies in order to promote its interests and retain (or improve) its position in the region. In this sense, Damascus’ foreign policy balanced on a tightrope; a paradoxical state in between not capitulating what was vital for its strategic interests and its prestige and bargaining from a relatively weaker position.


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