The Syrian Snub

The Saudi-led snubbing of the Arab Summit in Syria is a demonstration, or rather an acknowledgment, of Saudi Arabia’s new-found leadership role in the Arab world, with several key states following its lead, including Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen (a total of nine no-shows). By the same token, it is also a demonstration, or rather an acknowledgment, of the official death of Arab unity, which these annual summits are meant to symbolize. One might also argue that the boycott/snubbing is symbolic of another crucial observation: the growing rift between pro-US and not-so-pro-US Arab states, the latter which has become personified by a growing Syria-Iran alliance. It is a relationship most Arab states are frowning on, with Syria being perceived as a conduit through which Iran will seek to penetrate the political bubble of the Arab world. With Iraq in flames, political tsunamis in Lebanon and a broken Palestine, the outcome of this summit couldn’t have come at a better time.

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Siniora is still blaming Syria for their political crisis, with presidential elections being delayed 16 times.

Syria has been struggling these past few years to regain a powerful leadership role in the region, much of which is associated with its involvement in Lebanon, as well as its dealings with Tehran as a go-between with Hizballah. In other words, if the Arab League was a Parliament, Syria would now become the minority voice of the opposition, which ironically, represents the majority of opinion on the Arab street.

As for Jordan, attempts to reconcile relations with the neighbour to the north this past year have all gone down the tube with this snub.

And things were going so well…

In the end, I think perhaps its time to disassemble both the Arab League and the Arab Summit. They serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever and the growing perception by the Arab world that both entities are a farce, has become a demonstrated reality; a fact.


  • Let us not fall into moderates and extremes labelling. I do not consider Syria to be an extreme Arab states unless we just focus on empty jargon and rhetoric. For 40 years Syrians have never paid any price for the Arab Israeli confllict and were always using proxy wars for dominance in Lebanon. I think the message of boycotting is that we have just got fed up with Syria’s involvement in Lebanon. Let the people of Lebanon live their own life and keep your dirty hands off them and I totally support this message.

  • Batir: I agree that labels are useless in this case, for someone is always deemed extremist to someone else, and everyone views themselves as moderate. but i think we’ve entered a cycle of highly overestimating Syria’s involvement in Lebanon. However, I could be wrong.

  • batir said ..
    “I think the message of boycotting is that we have just got fed up with Syria’s involvement in Lebanon. Let the people of Lebanon live their own life and keep your dirty hands off them and I totally support this message.”

    i am not gonna debate whether syria meddles in lebanon or not because i agree that it does .. but was that really the message .. was that really why some arab countries didnt attend .. were they really trying to send a message .. or were they just following US orders?

    personally i think its the second option ..

    and by the way a lot of countries meddle in lebanons affairs its not just syria .. putting aside the western powers such as US and france, we can also mention saudi arabia ..
    and what about israel? remember how they launced an all out offensive on lebanon a couple of years ago .. i dont see arabs too upset about that .. why arent they sending any messages to israel?

  • “why arent they sending any messages to israel?”

    probably because they’ve had their cell phones turned off for the past 8 years 😛

  • The failure of the Arabic summit recommendations and plans is not a reason a end up this work towards unity; speaking of this logic, each individual government with its head of states should just give all of us a break and leave their positions first, since naturally they are failing us every day and with every project failing, or getting corrupted , the promise of new agenda, national strategy and vision of international success and dominance is till taking headlines and to my astonishment still get supporters !!

    Jordan minimal attendance in this summit is just another expected mis-calculated step, tracing the officials headlines about Jordan representation and the change that took daily from full higher level of representation to its minimal the night of the summit proves that there is no intent to deliver what ever message there is to deliver but rather a very lame i follow those leaders in the region choice. As its obvious, when it comes to arabs forces of power jordan still has no real weight, out of the nine countries only KSA and Egypt attendance matters. We on the other hand are still driven away with this U.S supporters and best friends role on the expense of protecting our sovereignty on our lands even against our best needs, having good relations with the most powerful and economically successful (and btw recently technologically ) neighboring country.

  • Laila: while i agree with much of what you’ve said…i just wanted to make sure of something…did you just call syria the most economically successful country in the region?

  • LOL, yes, i dont take israel into consideration when it comes to classifying neighboring countries. Maybe others do look up to israel as the model of economical prosperity, but its off my table of options. So looking the region countries, and measuring them up against an efficient cycle of production criteria in terms of industrial production, agriculture, tourism and its related set of services and availability of natural resources, Syria ranks first in the region.

  • Laila: israel aside (although it should by all means be taken as a valid consideration), and i dont mean to sound like “that guy”, but what criteria are you using exactly to draw such a conclusion? is it gdp? or is there a report you’re referencing, because i would be interested in reading it.

  • How can i take israel into consideration as an important neighbor to tighten our relations with when i consider it an enemy state that should be fought not be friends with? i can take it into consideration when i am listing the threatening countries on Jordan sovereignty and economical national independence, i wont disagree here, Israel will def. top the list.

    Anyway, i don’t get what are you trying to argue with me over here, that Syria is not the strongest neighboring economically (between Lebanon, occupied Iraq, Occupied Palestine, Jordan and Syria)? or that we should not be taking it into consideration and take the gulf states as a prospective economical partner and worry about their friendship more than our relation with Syria?

    As for the economical status in Syria, my very basic criteria is judging what a country economy is based on; unless you think basing a country economy on agriculture, industry, and energy is not an indication to success ( bare in mind the tourism sector success) i dont know what is; maybe virtual real estate investments business built up by foreign workers to generate profit to international companies and capital fund directed out side the country?

    btw, i had to go and check syria gdp to double check their state in case i missed any recent economical collapse 😀 but so far, economically speaking they are still under the same political pressure and they still have a self sufficient economy and export to the world products of all kinds 😀 .. i miss reading information like this, i only read importing everything into Jordan :s that sucks big time knowing that i come from a very rich land that once was the world bread basket.

  • Mohannad we will not pay more price that what we pay now. Syria has been building earth dams all over the Yarmouk River flow since 10 years and depriving Jordan of its share of the Yarmouk River water based on an agreement between the two countries. It is only a myth that Syria is providing Jordan with water.

  • I never had faith in all these Arab Summits as it’s a waste of time, but not havimg majoy Pro American Arab countries attend is a total dissapointment and I think not having Jordan attend the summit is a bumer as we the help of Syria in several issues, most importantly (Water & Security). It is a total disapointment to see Arabs divided that way!

    I honestly don’t believe in any Arab state or any Arab leader as they are all shit that come in difefrent shapes and styles!

    As for Seniora, it’s much better if he go finds a nanny shoulders to cry on!

    This is all rediculous.

  • Laila: “Anyway, i don’t get what are you trying to argue with me over here,” i’m not arguing anything lol! I’m asking how you drew that conclusion and if it was based on any material that i could read for myself. ya3ni its pretty much part of my job description let alone my hobby. so take it easy. 🙂

  • لسبب أو لي أخر ØŒ السيد بتير ودان يري سوريا العدو الدوذ وأسرائيل الدوله الكولونيه والعتصريه بدوله المتنوره،علي كل حال،لبنان قسم من سوريا مثل لأردن قسم من بلاد الشام،حقيقه تاريخيه لن تقدر Ù† تغيرهايا سيد باتر وردان

  • عاشت الشعوب العربيهالحره

  • wow, what one serving of rice can do for you….complete indigestion. The absentees were not there simply because they were TOLD not to attended

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