American Center for Levant Studies: Syria Should Be Ranked Highest in U.S. Policy

Rayburn said the U.S. should focus on the vital area between the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Zakros on the Iranian border, according to Zaman al-Wasl.

The American Center for Levant Studies director, former U.S. envoy to Syria Jules Rayburn,  Michael Duran of the Hudson Institute, and board member of the American Center for Orient spoke about U.S. policy in the Middle East, specifically Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.

Rayburn said in the opening video published by the American Center and monitored by the newspaper Zaman al-Wasl that they are focusing on the vital area between the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Zakros on the Iranian border.

Rayburn added that the surrounding region’s pillars include (Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Arabian Peninsula) that region is located in the heart of the Middle East and is part of the classic Middle East.

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Rayburn noted that he seeks to help people in the United States who hold formal and informal roles better understand what is happening in the Middle East and its impact on the United States as well as the impact of what is happening on U.S. interests and on the wider world.

Rayburn said they seek to explain what is happening in Washington to their friends and the public in the Middle East to present their insights to Washington, find out how Washington understands what should and should not be done, and prioritize it.

Michael Duran also talked about the U.S. policy he has seen in dealing with Syria other than its policies in many countries in the Middle East, such as Iraq and Israel.

Duran believed that most of the time, the United States had never had any policy toward Syria, knowing that it had policies toward Israel, Palestine, and Iran.

Duran pointed out that during the Iraq war, the United States pursued the Iraq war policy, considering that Syria has always been a secondary idea for the United States, as he found when he worked in the White House.

According to Michael Duran, Syria has always been a later idea for the United States of America. The U.S. did not have a policy towards it like the rest of the countries of the Middle East.

Duran added that in recent years the conflict has become over the Assad regime and Syria. It has become the main arena where the new order in the Middle East will be decided.


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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