Improving the U.S.-Syria Relationship

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 23, 2010

After remarks with Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet today, Secretary Clinton took questions from the press. In response to a question about Syria, the Secretary said:

"[W]e have expressed directly to the Syrian Government, including calling in the representative of their embassy in Washington to express in the strongest possible terms, our concerns about these stories that do suggest there has been some transfer of weapons technology into Syria with the potential purpose of then later transferring it to Hezbollah inside Lebanon.

"I think that the larger question as to what the United States will do with respect to Syria is one we've spent a lot of time considering and debating inside the Administration. Where we are as of today is that we believe it is important to continue the process to return an ambassador. This is not some kind of reward for the Syrians and the actions that they take, which are deeply disturbing not only to the United States and not just to Israel but to others in the region and beyond. But it's a tool. It's a tool that we believe can give us extra leverage, added insight, analysis, information with respect to Syria's actions and intentions.

"We would like to have a more balanced and positive relationship with Syria, as do other of its neighbors from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. We would like to see Syria play a more constructive role and engage in an effort to resolve its outstanding conflict with Israel. We would like to see Syria refrain from interfering in and potentially destabilizing the Government of Lebanon. So we have a long list of areas that we have discussed with the Syrians, and we intend to continue pushing our concerns."

Read the Secretary's remarks to the press or more about the her travel to Estonia, where she is attending the NATO Informal Foreign Ministerial on April 22-23 and meeting with senior Estonian officials to discuss our bilateral relationship.

Comments

Comments

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
April 23, 2010

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, Hillary and State Department People of the Web.

I think that is a good idea ,because if you don't have anyone to talk too, the problems can not be worked out.

See Ya...:)

palgye
|
South Korea
April 23, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Dear to.....

Does to make Syria escape from Russia influence, seeks the method which develops an economy and thinks the substance thing. Military affairs, politically the economic situation of the rivers but the citizens thinks from the Middle East that becomes worse a weight yet in possibility of development. positive column meaning the word makes be meaning quite and thinks that makes approach.

The support - many problem was the thing knows about Greece. - Thinks did to become accomplished yesterday in moving. And, TV news when are accurate and must deliver quickly, politics only social crime talk delivers source everyday about like this information, one in function and of news to lose isn't to throw away?

P.S When does not solve a economic matter, thinks personally the thing which will be the harm which is considerable to also a election. The support which is unlimited in election becomes possibly and today to solve a economic matter thinks that there is a possibility of winning.

Aldendeshe
|
Syria
April 23, 2010

Aldendeshe in Syria writes:

But President Assad does see it as your defeat and his reward, so it is irrelevant what you think regardless of how many weeks you dwelt on this debate. It is like a bunch of Monkeys in the Zoo, peeling bananas and debating for weeks if they evolved from human, or humans evolved from them. Do the monkeys care about what we think as long as humans keeps on serving them banana and cleaning their smelly errand. And of course we support President Assad in his assumption and the way he understands it, because his Excellency is right, you are a looser and Syria won big. CONGRATS MR. PRESIDENT.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
April 23, 2010

SNP in Syria writes:

OK, one more time, cleaned up cpmment, hopefully will pass the Dipnote sensor. Yeah why not, about time, you belongs together, bed fellas practically; The U.S. maintains a facade of freedom and democracy regime. Manages drug harvest and the army with intelligence help runs the drug lord and trafficking system, financially and logistically support terrorists and genocidal dictatorship regimes from Pol Pot, Osama Bin Laden Al-Qaida to Kaddafi ( to name a few), maintain secret prisons, torture innocent citizens, violates all norms of human decency (Lets not call it rights), maintains Domestic spy agencies and regime, spy on citizens communications and bug homes, help the controlling, inner banking circle and rob the poor farmer of Iowa. Maintain large budget for espionage and propaganda and cut education and environmental funding. And on and on….

John P.
|
Greece
April 23, 2010

John P. in Greece writes:

@ SNP in… Syria?

We have a saying in Greece: Don’t talk about the others when your own “home” is on fire. According to my opinion, your comment is full of assumptions and “bad words”.

It’s your right to write your opinion. But, I don’t see any censorship. No sensors too! [unless (sensors) have detected some “guns”). I mean the “eyes in the sky”.] So, you initially begun with a penalty, concerning the Blog.

By the way, speaking of trafficking and drugs, I prefer the “source” and not your illusions:

“Trafficking in persons
Syria is a destination and transit country for women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; a significant number of women and children in the large and expanding Iraqi refugee community in Syria are reportedly forced into commercial sexual exploitation by Iraqi gangs or, in some cases, their families; women from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone are recruited for work in Syria as domestic servants, but some face conditions of involuntary servitude, including long hours, non-payment of wages, withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, threats, and physical or sexual abuse tier rating: Tier 3 - Syria again failed to report any law enforcement efforts to punish trafficking offenses in 2007; in addition, the government did not offer protection services to victims of trafficking and may have arrested, prosecuted, or deported some victims for prostitution or immigration violations; Syria has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008).

Illicit drugs
a transit point for opiates, hashish, and cocaine bound for regional and Western markets; weak anti-money-laundering controls and bank privatization may leave it vulnerable to money laundering”.

So, I do not understand what and why you are accusing America for?

Well, I do!

Anti-American propaganda right?

You know… it becomes old fashioned… -not applicable I’d say.

Madame Secretary of State gave a GREAT answer!

Syrian P.
|
Syria
April 23, 2010

SNP in Syria writes:

@ John in Greece,

Unfortunately, all you said going on in Syria, everything is true. Sadly there is not a thing we can do about improving Syria because under the country laws, Only (Baath Socialist Party for Arab Renaissance and Revolutionary Vanguard of the Arab People) is allowed to run the country under One Party system. You would only wish if the party list of accomplishment is as long as its name, it would be good enough, but it is not. There also 380,000, Mukhabrat domestic intelligence like that of Romania Nicolae Ceaucescu, eighteen organizations in total, siphoning up most of Baathist Syria treasury, working to insures that this is the way Syria is run.

Syria and President Assad is in fact supported by all countries of the world including France, United States and United Kingdom and of course others. Syria receives funding from Iran and the Iranian Intelligence, the successor to SAVAK, although not as civilized, by all account savagery has obtained new form considering its Shia Islamic orientation. But Syria has good things, it managed to get the appraisal of prominent members of Congress and Senate such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and a guy name, I think Fredy Hershey, so if you have a complaint about Syria and how it is run, please contact them, the Greek or U.S. State Departments and see if your voice can be heard.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 26, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

For some strange reason Aminidijad and Assad remind me of "Pinky and the Brain."

Two lab rats on a cartoon mission to TAKE OVER THE WORLD...and Aldendeshe and SNP's just trying to spread the word. odd, isn't it?

Looks like someone wants to test our patience. This could get interesting...

Mugabe and Aminidijad unite to create the planet of the apes. Bad movie.

No banana for you guys.

John P.
|
Greece
April 24, 2010

John P. in Greece writes:

@ SNP in Syria

What I was trying to say was that the U.S. Administration is/was doing the best they can to help people of Syria and improve diplomatic collaboration between the two countries.

However, it’s only the people of Syria that can change their future. It’s their decision, the same way Iranians must decide to “fight” in order to change their own country and develop their democracy.

So, don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t blame America, or the Clintons.

The United States are doing everything possible to develop healthy, good relationships with Syria, Iran, N. Korea and other countries, but they often have to face a huge, egoistic wall. For example: Iran. They have given them plenty of chances to collaborate in a civilized way, but Iranians always come back with a “regime No”.

America is not a magician to solve in just one day what millions of people in their countries have not attempted to change in tens of years.

However, thank God there is America acting as an international “eye” and global prime mover for democracy, because I think that otherwise things in such countries would be far more worst.

palgye
|
South Korea
April 26, 2010

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Thinks, Internally reform, the external environment that the policy of the stability which is temporary and Asia and other new market, growth is necessary. to November?

OysterCracker
|
United States
April 25, 2010

Oyster C. in U.S.A. writes:

Thanks John in Greece, very interesting!

Why does America allow many mulitinational banks to continue laundering drug money? Where's the coersion and pressure on those banks? The government is uncomfortably silent on this and related issues.

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
April 26, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

@ John in Greece:

Well, to be absolutely fair, John, if you're going to quote the CIA world factbook on Syria...

"world's largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center."

That's the USA for you!

Also, much of the human trafficking that goes on in the world has a final destination of... guess where? Funny how the factbook doesn't mention that.

Just to say that we are not without sin. Not that our heart isn't in the right place.

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
April 26, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

@John P. in Greece: Always appreciate your thoughtful comments. And it is true that America can only do so much to improve the situations in other countries. However, I do believe that we must face our own problems, such as drug and human trafficking, joblessness, homelessness, etc.,etc...and realise that we must be even better at handling these things than the rest of the world or we loose all credibility. We have not done this in recent years and it is probably the main reason for countries such as Syria, Iran, even China and Russia, to be able to negate our best efforts to "spread democracy and human rights". We must do as you suggested...clean our house first.

John
|
Greece
April 26, 2010

John in Greece writes:

@ various recievers (LOL)

One question at a time (CHUCKLE)

@ Susan in Florida

Once again, thank you very much Susan for your kind words.

I absolutely agree with you. You are right! First of all, we need a strong America. That’s what I said: thank God “there is” and “we still have America”, otherwise we’d have serious global problems.

Concerning cleaning our house (unfortunately, I do not live in the States – so I assume), according to what I read, listen and view through local and international media, U.S.A. is “back for more”. The classical, stong America I keep in my heart. I don’t know, but I think that U.S.A. is still our *star. You probably know that Greece has to face some serious financial problems. The only nation, country that help us in this difficult moment is: U.S.A.

Concerning U.S.A., Eric in NM is right! If something damaged, we’ll make it again. And this time it will be stronger. That’s why I say: In God we trust! And thank God “there is” and “we still have America”.

@ Flavius in Virginia

That’s exactly what I quoted. Do you think that I am embarassed now?

NO!

I “tolds” you (quoted). I read from the source: CIA.GOV. That’s what I trust! Where do you want me to get the info from? KGB? Chinese INTEL? Or what? Why don’t’s you give us your source? I'd suggest everybody to use the CIA fact book. Far more secure than the anonymous info you can get via a dangerous internet environment full of lies...

@ Oyster in U.S.A.

I don’t know if this happening the way you describe it. But, why don’t you ask youself why Switserland, Lixtenstein, Luxeburg, and many “islands” allow many mulitinational banks to continue laundering drug money? IRS and DEA is near. You’ll see!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 27, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ John in Greece,

You seems to be handling everything tossed your way in great form, so I wouldn't want to tread on the free-for-all going on as to who has the worst form of government.

Let's just say being an American is an attitude, not just via place of birth.

If you want to do buisiness without paying bribes in addition to taxes, then you're American.

If you want to vote the fat-cat politicians out of office, then you're Ameican, just be careful who you replace them with.

If you want to tell your government to its face that it's being dysfuntional and get away with it. Then you're American.

If you struggle for freedom from fear, from want or from apathy and entropy, then you're American.

If you find yourself in a state of perpetual revolution of the mind, then you're American.

If you're looking to put all global conflicts to bed, and find peaceful resolution to them before going for something more "kinetic", then you're an American.

And we generally save "kinetic" for those with which have no inclination to talk with us anyway while issuing threats to us.

But if those who wish to see our defeat in creating a better world to live in have a grain of sense, Assad and Aminidijad will stop reminding me of "Pinky and the Brain".

'lil Kim wil retire and take up comedy...as anyone who calls himself "Divine" surely has a sense of humor.

Far be if for anyone to suggest there's no truth in humor...

Or in the reality of the cage they find themselves in, of their own making.

Or that a pretty major social experiment is in their imminent future.

As soon as the people get fed up with their governments not having the proper attitude, they may just find the path to follow has been paved for them.

"They got the guns, but we have the numbers."

We can simply lend the blueprints of a mindset that changed this country for the better and let it go "viral".

Same is true of most evey Muslim, when confronting violent apostates of Islam.

Talk about putting houses in order...

It's either get it repaired or watch it blow up.

Flavius
|
Virginia, USA
April 27, 2010

Flavius in Virginia writes:

You didn't really understand my post at all.

Oh well. No arguments from me. Given up on that. Utterly pointless.

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
April 27, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

It is good to be back..as I was away from the blog for a while, and to see that the "discussion" has continued with the thoughts and comments of "old" friends, as well as, the comments of "new" voices. One last thought on this topic. Syria lives under a dictatorship that has chosen to "deal" with countries that are not concerned with our interests. We are right to reach out to them but why would we think that they are interested in co-operating with us? Other countries, such as Russia or Iran, have what they want. We don't.

John P.
|
Greece
April 28, 2010

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Susan C. in Florida:

It’s great to have you back Susan. Your posts are always very interesting!
What do Russia and Iran can give to Syria, while the U.S. cannot?

[Note1: According to my opinion, there is nothing that they have more than us (except fish eggs –CHUCKLE)
Note2: What these regimes/religion juntas/dictators (Syria, Iran, S. Korea etc.) think that they should have for their people is one thing. However, the most important is what their people (the majority, not the regime environment) deserve and really want to have.]

So, I wouldn’t make their “politicians” think that they are so special. They are just dangerous opportunists.
Who cares what they think that they should have or want?
Who can trust people who know that: either I stay in power, or end up in prison?
Such guys cannot decide for PEOPLE.

That’s why America MUST be around there! Diplomacy is vital!
I may be wrong, but I think that sometimes, speaking with the Devil does not mean that you approve him.

Best Regards -we need your posts!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 28, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Susan C in Florida,

I'd like to associate myself with John's comments, it is great to have you back, we missed you dear!

As long as the three of us have been "regulars" or even some of the first to post comment on this blog when it was just a wee social experiment in diapers, not a regular reading staple of world leaders checking to see what the State Dept will think of next...,

The two of you (John included) have often questioned whether Russia can be trusted or has some ulterior motive for cooperating with the US on a partnership level in the world at large.

So I thought I'd offer some perspective on just how long it can take to recover from a failed economic ideology and realize a nation's true self as a member of the family of nations.

It took us a hundred years to overcome the economic ideology of slavery before equal rights became reality.

As it was with us it is with the Russians...it's "a matter of mind over manifesto".

This is a people emerging from a long dark age of experiments in bad government, the genocidal whim of dictatorship, and 20 years is not long enough for the ecos of the past to have stopped reverberating in some corners.

Well we know what we're capable of and we know what the Rusasians are capable of, and the Russians know what we are capable of and are very aware of what they are capable of, and frankly what the Russians are capable of scare the Russians just as much as it does anyone else.

Lest an old mindset rear its ugly head at some point in the future.

But then you look at mankind as a whole and I don't see folks generally inclined to live their present in the past, with no future to speak of.

This despite the mechanizations of certain other governments that are still stuck in a regressive manifesto dating back to the fouteenth century or there-abouts.

What we have here is a struggle to live up to their promise and potential if we have to drag them kicking and screaming along for the ride into the 21st.

The future pretty well depends on that, but we'd rather simply lead the horse to water and have him think.

Then maybe he'll drink.

Keep your fingers crossed, we don't have a "done deal" yet.

Susan C.
|
Florida, USA
April 28, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

@ John in Greece and Eric in New Mexico.. You are both right. We must continue to deal with countries such as Syria, N.Korea, Iran, and give their people a chance at changing their "history". Sometimes I am cynical about the progress we are making. And, Eric, your point about Russia is valid. I guess John and I need to step back and see what happens. It is good to be back in the "conversation". Thank you both for your kind comments.

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