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Earthquake and Political Displacement

Excerpts from an op-ed published by Munzer Eid for al-Watan.
Earthquake and Political Displacement

The earthquake that hit the region on the sixth of this month had both political and geographical consequences. According to scientists, it shifted Turkey five meters to the west. Politically, it also shifted Arab positions on rapprochement with Syria by tens of meters, redrawing a new political map with a glimmer of hope for the birth of a new Arab era. However, the lines of that map were drawn with the blood and pain of Syrians.

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It seems that only a major event, such as an earthquake, could cause the political tectonic plates in the Arab region to shift back to their previous positions, and the recent earthquake appears to have served as a catalyst for the return of Arab-Syrian relations to their former state. This became evident in the aftermath of the earthquake in Syria, as Arabs – with few exceptions – rallied to support Damascus, offering condolences through phone calls, aid convoys, telegrams, and even tweets on Twitter.

The earthquake has brought about a remarkable change in the position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The aid it sent, along with the comments of its Foreign Minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, indicate that a consensus is emerging in the Arab world that isolating Syria is counterproductive and that dialogue with Damascus is necessary at some point. This shift is further highlighted by the recent visit of the Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, and his meeting with President Bashar al-Assad.

Given the recent developments, many analysts are speculating about the possibility of Damascus attending the upcoming summit. The focus has shifted to Riyadh, which will host the next summit at the end of March, and experts are closely monitoring new data and the evolving situation to see how events will unfold.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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