Margaret Scobey (below) was recalled to Washington just days after the murder of Rafiq Al-Hariri. Her last act as Ambassador was to serve a harsh letter to the Syrian government. Her withdrawal was to focus international attention on Damascus, and imply that Washington held Bashar responsible for the killing.
It was widely assumed that this marked a turning point in the deterioration of US-Syria ties. From here on in, the only possible end would be regime change. No US Ambassador would set foot in Damascus until Bashar was out of office.
But Syria steadily assented to international pressure. Against all expectations Syrian troops pulled out as promised. And next month Lebanon will hold free elections.
True, the US is still doubtful that Syria’s intelligence have been completely withdrawn. But they’ve made it clear that they’ll judge Syria on the success of the Lebanese elections.
Western diplomatic sources (who were quoted by the official Kuwati News Agency KUNA) said that if Scobey is to return, it wont be before the elections. Is this the first sign of an American carrot?