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The Damascus Declaration on trial

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Big Brother, Smiling at You

Big Brother, Smiling at You

When Bashar al-Assad took over the presidency of Syria, the country was under pressure. America was preparing the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration looked pretty omni-potent, and Syria was one of the points made for justifying “regime change” in Iraq.
But the Syrian authorities can hardly claim that they are still facing serious threats from abroad.
Nevertheless, several Syrian dissidents are facing trial. They are accused of establishing or joining the “Damascus Declaration Group”, founded by a group of Syrian and Lebanese intellectuals and activists in 2005, calling for improved relations between the two countries.
Some more Syrians who are willing to establish a fair dialogue with Lebanon – contacts between equals, not between a would-be imperialist “Arab Republic” and a candidate for colonisation – could only help both countries. But that’s apparently not what Damascus has in mind.
The “Damascus Declaration Group” is accused of being a “secret group”.
The sad background is that a Syrian organisation that advocates constructive relations with its in many ways closest neighbour can only be “secret”.

And the trial against a number of Syrians who advocate some respect for their Lebanese neighbours suggests that these relations, contrary to what Lebanon’s president Suleiman claimed them to be, are anything but “normal”.


Written by taide

August 1, 2008 at 6:50 am

Posted in diplomacy, Syria, USA

Tagged with , , ,

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