The Middle East Institute is proud to host Andrew Tabler and Mona Yacoubian for a discussion about the current state of Lebanese-Syrian relations. Bitterly strained by the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Lebanese-Syrian relations started to mend following French mediation leading to the exchange of ambassadors between Beirut and Damascus in 2009. Prime Minister Saad Hariri's visit to Damascus at the end of 2009 marked yet another phase in this evolving relationship.
Tabler and Yacoubian will examine the political, security and economic implications of this new dynamic for both Lebanon and Syria. What is motivating Lebanon's re-engagement with Syria? How is it affecting Lebanon's domestic politics? What kind of influence is Syria re-asserting in Lebanon and how does this play into Damascus' broader regional strategies? As Beirut and Damascus grapple with a new relationship, Tabler and Yacoubian will shed light on the objectives and goals of the respective players, as well as the challenges both countries face.