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The Arab Initiative Falters; Jordanian Political Analyst for Orient Net: Assad did not Seize the Opportunity

Amman remains skeptical about the prospects of success of an Arab initiative, according to Orient Net.
The Arab Initiative Falters; Jordanian Political Analyst for Orient Net: Assad did not Seize the Opportunity

The Arab initiative previously proposed by Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, aimed at initiating a political dialogue with the Assad regime to comprehensively address the Syrian crisis along with its humanitarian, security, and political implications, appears to be facing significant challenges.

Despite numerous developments, particularly related to drug smuggling and the transit of substantial shipments through Syrian territory towards Jordan, Amman remains skeptical about the prospects of this initiative’s success. The ongoing security issues along the borders have not been effectively resolved, and viable solutions to the persistent Captagon smuggling problem remain elusive. This illicit trade has evolved, presenting new challenges in terms of both the methods employed for smuggling and the substantial quantities involved. These challenges include the deployment of drones and trucks, which have raised concerns not only for Jordan but also for the broader Arab region, including Saudi Arabia and other neighbouring countries.

An initiative that will not see the light of day 

In response to the potential failure of the proposed Arab initiative, Jordanian writer and political analyst Adel Mahmoud expressed his skepticism, stating that “the initiative was stillborn, given the quagmire-like nature of the Syrian crisis. It is unlikely to materialize, and its architects are well aware that maneuvering within the Syrian conflict has been constrained since its inception.”

A Window of Opportunity for Change in Syria?

Mahmoud further emphasized that the key players controlling the situation on the ground in Syria hold the fate of any political solution, and their multitude makes the success of any initiative uncertain. Consequently, the Arab initiative has so far only led to the reinstatement of the Assad regime’s previously suspended membership in the Arab League.

Regarding potential measures Jordan could take if drug smuggling from areas under the Assad regime’s control continues, Mahmoud pointed out that the drug issue has escalated into a global concern, extending beyond Jordan’s borders. He underscored that any action taken by Jordan would align with international consensus and oversight. Given that drug trafficking has become a pressing concern for neighbouring countries of Syria and Gulf nations, Jordan would not act rashly or unilaterally in matters related to regional security.

Bashar al-Assad did not seize the opportunity well 

Commenting on the Arab world’s trust in the Assad regime’s unfulfilled promises, Mahmoud asserted that Bashar al-Assad does not wield effective control in Syria. Despite being given a chance, he has failed to capitalize on it, highlighting the need for a profound and transformative solution for Syria’s complex issues.

Jordanian political analyst Salah Malkawi, who specializes in Syrian affairs, previously conveyed to Orient Net that the presence of Iran within Syria, in conjunction with a regime that still retains “international legitimacy,” warrants the deferral of discussions on this matter in favour of addressing more pressing concerns for the Arab world. These include humanitarian aid and projects, with Malkawi emphasizing that the primary focus for Arabs in Syria should be the humanitarian dimension, alongside addressing the Captagon drug issue, while temporarily setting aside the Iranian presence as a secondary priority.


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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