After many years of being isolated from the world due to Bush hostility and the ongoing war in Iraq which many American leaders said was partially the result of Syrian aiding forces of insurgency, there is a new sense within the nation of opportunities to enter the broader world of non-violent relations. Turkey has assumed a proactive role in assisting Syria to become engaged in discussions with Israel and its young people want something more than being linked with terrorism. The real question is whether Israel’s new government led by Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to give up the Golan Heights as part of an agreement to end the long war between the two nations.
Syria can play a vital role in fostering peace in the Middle East because persuading it to cease aiding Hezbollah and Hamas will help end financial support for those groups. It can assist the Iraqi government by ensuring its border is closed to militants headed for Iraq. Syria has excellent relations with Iran and it could be an ally in efforts to reach an agreement with the Iranian government.
Of course, much depends on the desire of the new Israel government to trade land for peace.