US courts Syria as linchpin to altered relations with Iran
Christian Science Monitor / Howard LaFranchi
05-Mar-2009 (one comment)

In announcing what she called "preliminary conversations," Mrs. Clinton referred to Syria's influence in the region. The emphasis was on Damascus and not Tehran, but many Middle East experts have long advocated engaging Syria, a key Mideast player, as a way to weaken its dependence on Iran, thereby thwarting Tehran's growing influence in the region. Even if a full weaning of Damascus from Tehran is unrealistic, engaging Damascus offers potential for pressuring the nonstate actors in the region – Hezbollah and Hamas – that stand in the way of US interests, says Aaron David Miller, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington. "If by engaging Syria you can encourage a peace accord between two interested state actors, Syria and Israel, you force very difficult choices on Hezbollah, and … Hamas would be significantly weakened."

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rosie is roxy is roshan

The talks began here, when Kerry got Abbas to agree to

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

push Hamas to accept the Unity Government in Cairo, which they did the first day. Of course if Hamas keeps refusing to recognize Israel it's all toast. In any case Abbas did what he said he would do. And IMHO no one is gonna checkmate anyone because everyone is gonna checkmate everyone. And this is good.