To commemorate the thirteenth anniversary of the Syrian uprising, this new project will pave a path toward resolving the Syria crisis in a representative, implementable, and realistic manner.

WASHINGTON, DC – March 13, 2024 – The Atlantic Council, the Middle East Institute, and the European Institute of Peace, in partnership with Madaniya Civil Society Network, are launching the Syria Strategy Project. The year-long project will engage subject matter experts and policymakers in the US, Europe, and the Middle East to develop a holistic strategy to sustainably resolve the Syria crisis.

“Thirteen years into the uprising, the Syrian landscape continues to evolve with more accumulating challenges than solutions. The Syria Strategy Project will be the soundboard for policymakers and practitioners to discuss challenges and develop solutions holistically that would ultimately help resolve the Syrian crisis and its spillover effects,” said Qutaiba Idlbi, director of the Syria project at the Atlantic Council.

The initiative will launch with a public event at the Atlantic Council’s headquarters in Washington DC on March 18th, with attendance from US and Syrian experts, Syrian civil society and stakeholders.

“By launching the Syria Strategy Project, we aim to bridge gaps and fill vacuums regarding the tactical and strategic thinking around Syria diplomacy. The appetite for this is clear. We’ve secured the working participation of more than eighty of the world’s most esteemed Syria experts, as well as the entire breadth of Syrian stakeholders and international governments,” said Charles Lister, director of the Syria and Countering Terrorism & Extremism programs at the Middle East Institute.

The Syria Strategy Project will convene a strategic advisory group comprising highly experienced former officials to ensure policy recommendations remain focused and realistic. Those experts will deliberate on policy issues focusing on the areas of accountability & security sector reform, humanitarian aid, economic recovery, security, governance, and the political process.

“This project is an unprecedented transatlantic initiative aimed at building a multilateral strategy to end the Syrian conflict. Bridging gaps between the European and the American perspectives and working with regional actors with a strong Syrian lead is essential to ensure a united approach,” noted Marie Forestier, senior Syria advisor at the European Institute of Peace.

Throughout the process, the organizers will ensure broad Syrian engagement and will identify Syrian scholars to author a series of strategic briefs relevant to key policy topics. The project will provide policy-oriented analysis of these issues and will provide a forum for experts across the political spectrum to discuss, debate, and provide concrete strategic recommendations for policymakers.

“This project comes at a challenging time for Syrians, marked by the clear deadlock in the political process. Madaniya sees the utmost importance of engaging Syrian experts and ensuring their active participation in discussions and recommendations presented along the project. The objective is to present transparent and well-informed policies, where Syrians play an active role, for regional countries and the international community to adopt in pursuit of a comprehensive political solution,” said Sawsan Abouzaiedin, CEO of Madaniya Civil Society Network.

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