Hasn’t the world changed. A few months ago, isolated by the world, Syria was jumping up and down trying to get noticed. Now, Britain – Bush’s former cheerleader – says Bashar could be a British ally.
David Miliband, Britain’s Foreign Secretary has been in Damascus, meeting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. He said the talks went well, and Bashar is a man he would like to do more business with.
But the big shocker is where he made that statement – in Beirut, right under the nose of anti-Syrian Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. It was a message to the world – our support for Lebanon will not be at Syria’s expense.
In Damascus, Miliband said Syria has an important role to play in the region’s stability. Exactly what Syria has been saying throughout the Bush years.
As a concrete sign of the new relationship, Britain and Syria have agreed to re-start sharing intelligence. Remember, Syria and America were co-ordinating straight after 9/11. Syria has a lot of intelligence on Muslim extremists, after fighting its own deacdes-long battle with the Muslim Brotherhood. But that co-operation all stopped when Syria refused to support the invasion of Iraq.
While he was in Damascus, Syria’s new friend took a tour through the Old City – and popped into legendary ice cream shop, Bakdash in Souq Al-Hamidiya. Although it seems he was attacked by an ice cream.