The Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an analysis that questions the possibilities of the White House seeking to conclude a “normalization” deal between the Syrian regime and Israel, taking into account a supposed “dissolution” in the stance of the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries towards Assad.
A newspaper analysis said “HaaretzWidespread in Israel, the Omani ambassador’s presentation of his credentials to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, may be an indication that “the Arab League’s position may soften” toward Damascus.
The new Omani ambassador, Turki bin Mahmoud, is the first ambassador of a Gulf state to assume his post in Damascus since Syria was removed from the Arab League in November 2011.
However, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said recently that “Syria’s return to the League is not on the table at the moment.”
Haaretz’s analysis touched on reports of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi preparing to “send weapons” to Syria.
Reports published in Arab newspapers indicated that Egypt wants to support Syria to form a front against Turkey, which is interfering militarily in Syria, Libya and the Mediterranean, in a way that threatens Egyptian interests.
The Haaretz analysis said that the UAE “broke” the diplomatic siege imposed on Syria two years ago, when it opened an embassy in Damascus, and Bahrain followed suit.
The two countries are now formally establishing relations with Israel, and have begun to formulate a policy of full commercial and political cooperation.
The newspaper also referred to a report published by the American Wall Street Journal, which indicated that Trump sent a letter to Assad last March, to negotiate for the release of two American citizens, Austin Tate, who disappeared in Syria in 2012, and the glory of Kim Almaz, who disappeared near A checkpoint for the Syrian regime in 2017.
According to reports, the Assad regime demanded the lifting of sanctions on Syria and the withdrawal of American soldiers in exchange for the release of the two citizens. But the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, confirmed that Washington would not change its position on the Assad regime in order to release two hostages.
According to Haaretz, this news generated speculations and evaluations regarding Trump’s stance towards Syria, and whether it was “in the process of normalizing with Israel in exchange for lifting sanctions.”
The recently announced Sudanese normalization with Israel, and the removal of Sudan from the US terrorism list, may be an additional reason to consider a similar deal that might take place in Syria.
But Assad denied – ostensibly – any tendency to normalize with Israel, and pledged a similar decision to give up the Golan Heights, which is considered impossible for Israel during this period, according to Haaretz, and Trump himself recognized Israeli sovereignty over that region.
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