Assad Is Friends With the Arab World Again

Source: Foreign Policy
by Anchal Vohra

“A vote in Syria is neither secret nor sacrosanct. On May 26, as the regime-orchestrated elections were held, there was little doubt over the return of the incumbent. President Bashar al-Assad would win a fourth term; no one in the country dwelled on the foregone conclusion. … While Syrians had no expectations for the election, Assad used the campaign — including his slogan, ‘hope through work’ — to signal his regime’s shift in focus from war to reconstruction. By holding the elections, he tried to show the world that Syrian institutions are functioning well and that a country that can conduct safe elections is also safe place for refugees to return to. It is, of course, a charade — but one to which Arab countries, especially in the Gulf, seem sympathetic.” (06/01/21)