In 2021, Jordan introduced an initiative aimed at activating a political solution in Syria through incremental steps, following the principle of “step by step,” to test the seriousness of the concerned parties. With Damascus rejoining the Arab fold and the changing realities in Syria and the region, Amman revised its approach after consultations with Arab and Western countries, resulting in a new version that precisely outlines the required steps.
The new text of the “Jordanian Initiative” reveals that it includes three stages, starting with the humanitarian aspect, followed by the military-security dimension, and concluding with the political-final phase, according to Al-Majalla magazine. However, the initiative does not specify a specific timeline for implementation but concludes that the expected steps from Damascus and its allies are the “withdrawal of all Iranian military and security assets from Syria.”
In addition, it calls for the “withdrawal of Hezbollah and Shiite militias” in exchange for the “withdrawal of all foreign forces and foreign fighters from all Syrian territories entered after 2011, including areas in northeastern Syria and the Al-Tanf US base, lifting sanctions, and donor funding for Syria’s reconstruction.”
Some elements of the initiative date back to the pre-return of Syria to the Arab League on May 7, 2021, and President Bashar al-Assad’s attendance at the Arab Summit in Jeddah on the 19th of the same month. However, the initiative, which emerged after Jordanian consultations with Arab, international, and Western parties, reflects the thinking on how to exit the current situation.
This initiative connects all the elements of the Syrian crisis adhered to by Damascus, its allies, and its opponents. It presents a vision for a solution based on a “step-by-step” approach to emerge from the continuous tunnel that has plagued Syrians and neighboring countries for the past 12 years.