Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Syria

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Syria

Article excerpt

See also Lebanon

Feb. 17: The US appointed a new ambassador to Damascus, five years after withdrawing the last representative. The US ended ties with Damascus in 2005, after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri. US President Barack Obama nominated Robert Ford, current Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Iraq and former ambassador to Algeria, to the position. [Al-Jazeera, 2/17]

Mar. 26: At the central Yusuf al-'Azmi square in Damascus, tens of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians gathered in a government-planned "march of anger" against Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem. The crown held pictures of Hamas leaders, waved Syrian and Palestinian flags, and shouted anti-Israel slogans. [ABC, 3/26]

Mar. 28: Syria and Libya joined forces to pressure Palestinian President Mahmud 'Abbas to return to violence rather than continue with peace talks. Arab leaders at a summit in Libya did not reach a consensus about whether Palestinians should proceed with halted peace talks with Israel; another summit was scheduled by the Arab League for later in the year. An adviser to 'Abbas rejected the suggestion. [Haaretz, 3/28]

Mar. 31: Lebanese Druze leader Walid Junblat met Syrian President Bashar al- Asad in Damascus to affirm a mediation process. Analysts believed that the meeting strengthened Syria's political hand in Lebanon. Junblat had blamed al-Asad for killing former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri. However, Junblat had recently withdrawn critical statements about the Syrian President and claimed that reconciliation with Syria was crucial to maintaining Lebanese stability and protecting the minority Druze population. …

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