Syria, the Gulf, and Reconstruction – What Possible Future?

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar have increased their geopolitical influence in the Middle East in the last decade. In the case of Syria, the foreign policy of Gulf monarchies the past years has been on of rapprochement towards the regime of Damascus after initially opposing it firmly and funding some armed opposition groups. This article analyzes the potential economic and political implications of the return of Gulf investments in Syria. It argues that Gulf investments would have consequences on the political economy of Syria by deepening its reliance on projects in short-term profit-seeking sectors, mostly in trade, real estate and services. At the same time, significant obstacles to Gulf investments in Syria will persist.

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