The Atlantic Council’s Syria Project, the Middle East Institute’s Syria Program, and the European Institute of Peace, in partnership with Madaniya Civil Society Network invite you to join the launch of the Syria Strategy Project in person and virtually on Monday, March 18, 2024, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET.

Nearly thirteen years into the war in Syria, the crisis continues to bleed across borders, impacting countries in the region and beyond. The political process is stalemated and accountability is an increasingly distant prospect. Even though frontlines have been static for three years, an unprecedented humanitarian crisis now exists. With attention dwindling and international funds diminishing, Syria’s future is darkening and instability threatens to escalate once again.

Despite a series of significant crises and challenges around the world, accepting the current status quo in Syria is both dangerous and unsustainable. Together with European and regional partners, the US can improve the situation in Syria and protect US and European interests by applying a bipartisan, practical, and coherent approach. Little work has been done to identify areas of shared interests that could be leveraged as pillars of a meaningful and realistic multilateral approach to resolving the Syrian crisis. 

To fill this vacuum, The Atlantic Council (AC), the Middle East Institute (MEI), and the European Institute of Peace (EIP), in partnership with Madaniya Civil Society Network are launching the Syria Strategy. For the next 12 months, AC, MEI, and EIP will initiate an intensive process of engagement with subject matter experts and policymakers in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East to develop a holistic strategy to sustainably forge a pathway to resolving the Syrian crisis. This process will incorporate Syrian experts, Syrian civil society, and Syrian stakeholders at every step.

1:00 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. ET  |  Welcome remarks

Ayman Asfari
Madaniya Civil Society Network

Barbara Leaf
Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs
U.S. Department of State

William F. Wechsler
Senior Director
Atlantic Council

1:20 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. ET  |  Panel one: High-level panel discussion

Ethan Goldrich
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Brigitte Curmi
Special Envoy for Syria
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Stefan Schneck
Special Envoy for Syria
German Federal Foreign Office


Elizabeth Hagedorn
State Department Correspondent

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET  |  Panel two: 13 years of conflict: A regional and international perspective

Natasha Hall
Senior Fellow
Center for Strategic & International Studies

Brian Katulis
Senior Fellow
Middle East Institute

Vali Nasr
Non-resident Senior Fellow
Atlantic Council


Mona Yacoubian
Vice President, Middle East and North Africa Center
United States Institute of Peace

3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. ET  |  Panel three: The Syria Strategy: Outlining the way forward

Qutaiba Idlbi
Director of the Syria Project
Atlantic Council

Charles Lister
Director of the Syria & Counter Terrorism Programs
Middle East Institute

Marie Forestier
Senior Advisor
European Institute of Peace


Sawsan Abou Zainedin
Madaniya Civil Society Network

Partner organizations

Middle East Programs

Through our Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, the Atlantic Council works with allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.

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