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The Odd Couple: Ending The Jordanian-Syrian “Cold War”

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Of all the bilateral relationships between Arab states, the Jordanian-Syrian relationship has been among the most tumultuous. Jordanian-Syrian relations have, more often than not, been marked by varying degrees of mutual hostility and even violence. These periods of animosity have been so frequent that they amounted to a local “Cold War” even in the midst of the many other conflicts in the region. But with regime changes in both Amman and Damascus, a marked thaw has emerged in Jordanian-Syrian relations, seemingly ending another long period of acrimony. But this type of event has happened once before: in the late 1970s when Jordan and Syria shifted from antagonism to alliance. This article examines both the historic and current attempts to end the Jordanian-Syrian Cold War, so that the earlier episode may shed some light on the present and future of Jordanian-Syrian relations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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