The Gulf: After the War. Syria

SYRIA emerges from the crisis with a markedly improved economic and political position. The country's commitment of troops to the international coalition force was small but, given the country's anti-West reputation, lent credibility to the US-led campaign.

Syria's stance has opened new channels of economic aid from North America, Europe, Japan, and the Gulf states. The latter have reportedly already sent more than $2.2 billion.

Although the US continues to list Syria as a state which supports terrorism, relations with Washington have markedly thawed. Syria and Britain exchanged ambassadors Feb. 25, ending a four-year break in diplomatic ties.

Damascus has won a voice in postwar deliberations. In efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli issue, Syria will press for return of the Golan Heights, territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and later annexed.

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