The results of President Obama’s Middle East Smart Diplomacy™ keep rolling in:
The state-controlled Russian group Soyuzneftegaz and the Syrian regime this week signed a deal that allows for the exploration and drilling, development and production of oil and gas in a 2,190 sq km area off Syria’s coast, the first-such deal for the country.It might be years before the deal is implemented, analysts said. But the concession, which is to span 25 years, further solidifies Moscow’s ties to Damascus ahead of a highly anticipated January conference in Switzerland in which the future of Syria may be negotiated.
As most of the observers in the above-cited article note, this concession may not really mean anything until some sort of final settlement is reached in Syria. But defenders of Obama’s current approach to the Middle East shouldn’t be under any illusions as to who is striving to fill the vacuum we’re leaving behind.