Syria’s Day in the Sun: Mostly Cloudy

Syria’s Day in the Sun: Mostly Cloudy

This was supposed to be Syria's moment in the sun. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had held out great hopes for the events scheduled for the final days of this month. Starting on March 29, Syria will host this year's Arab League summit. The gathering in Damascus was supposed to bring together the heads of state of the league's 22 members, providing Syria with a bright stage on which to display its regional stature while bathed in the warm glow of Arab unity. But just like Arab unity and Syria's regional stature, a successful summit was always a doubtful proposition. By now, it seems clear that Syria's day in the sun will be mostly cloudy.

The lead up to the event has already brought a spate of embarrassing announcements for Damascus. The RSVPs have been slow to trickle back to the hosts. With time growing short, the countries that are arguably the most important in the Arab world have just announced they are sending low-level delegations, while other countries will send no one at all.

With the leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia staying home, the summit will fail to live up to its name, and it is all but certain that the meeting will reach no decisions of consequence.

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