By Nir Boms
Published October 13, 2005
Facing additional pressures at home and abroad, the schedule of Bashar Assad, Syria’s president, is particularly busy these days. There is much to do and time is of the essence. Timing, however, does not seem to work.
For example, Mr. Assad had planned to head his country’s delegation to the United Nations summit last month. While restlessness was growing in Damascus, Mr. Assad could have benefited from a visit that was designed to ease Syria’s international isolation and show the 40-year-old president as a young reformist Arab ruler. But timing did not work. Following unwelcoming signals from Washington and increasing turmoil at home, Mr. Assad was forced to stay behind.