A grand bargain over Syria’s reconstruction and transition may become possible at some point in the future; for now, the reconstruction debate sounds like wishful thinking, analyst Roula Khalaf writes for The Financial Times:
One track of negotiations between the regime and rebels is taking place under Russian, Iranian and Turkish sponsorship in Astana. Another, under UN auspices, has resumed in Geneva. But it has not escaped opposition politicians’ notice that the envisaged “political transition” for Syria is emphasizing new “governance” structures and a constitution, rather than the exit of the Syrian dictator.
“More of Syria will be destroyed before any of it is rebuilt. No one will pour funds into an unfolding catastrophe,” Khalaf adds. “And, even if Russia opts for a larger European and Arab role in a peaceful outcome, Mr Assad could still count on Iran to resist a transition.”