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Syria: Leading Up to "The Day After"

A member of the Syrian community shouts slogans against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a protest near the Russian embassy in Bucharest July 19, 2012.(REUTERS/Radu Sigheti) Brookings Doha Center Director Salman Shaikh spoke to Foreign Policy at Brookings on July 19 and described the rapidly deteriorating situation in Damascus. His comments follow the July 18 bombing that resulted in the deaths of Syria’s defense minister and deputy defense minister and Russia and China’s veto of the U.S.-backed U.N. resolution calling for further sanctions. The failure of the U.N. resolution made it unclear what would happen after the current  mandate expires on July 20. (The U.N. Security Council has since approved a 30-day monitoring extension.) Shaikh further spoke about the international community’s responsibility in addressing these developments and the opposition’s readiness to take control if and when the Assad regime loses power.

  • Salman Shaikh is director of the Brookings Doha Center and fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. His research focuses on negotiations related to conflict resolution, domestic politics, and geopolitics of the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Levant and Gulf region. Recently, Shaikh has worked extensively to facilitate national dialogue among Syrian constituencies and figures, as well as to advise policy on regional and international involvement in the Syrian crisis.

    Prior to joining the Center, Shaikh worked with the United Nations for nearly a decade. During his tenure there he served as special assistant to the special coordinator to the Middle East peace process, political advisor to the secretary general’s personal representative for Lebanon during the 2006 war, and special assistant of the Middle East and Asia to the office of the undersecretary general for political affairs. Shaikh also worked as director for policy and research in the office of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, the Consort of the former Emir of Qatar.

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