Conflict and Fragility

Syria after Civil War #2: The geopolitics of Conflict
26 Mar 2019 12:00 - 14:00
Source: by Dominique Pineiro

This discussion took place as part of our Series of lunch discussions on Syria after Civil War. The full photostream of this event can be viewed here.

The final discussion will be held on Monday 13 May (#3: Militancy and extremism in Syria and beyond).

A key aspect of the Syrian civil war is that it stopped being a matter of - and for - Syrians early on. In other words, the war internationalised. In fact, at the moment it is no longer Syrians themselves that are able to end it. The war today features parallel cooperation and competition between the interests of Russia, Iran and Turkey in particular. Most European countries, as well as the United States, have interests at stake, but little leverage.

Clingendael director Monika Sie and guest speaker Rena Netjes during the lunch lecture
Guest speaker and journalist Rena Netjes (r.) and Clingendael director Monika Sie (l.) during the 2nd lunch debate on Syria.

This meeting analysed how the foreign policy interests of Russia, Turkey and Iran are likely to influence the newly emergent political order of Syria and how the indebtedness of the regime of President Assad to Russia and Iran is likely to be paid off. While the EU and the Netherlands are ‘consequence-takers’ of the events pushing these interests in the short-term, the meeting will also discuss how European influence on a post-war Syria can be increased.


  • Rena Netjes (freelance journalist)
  • Erwin van Veen (Senior Research Fellow, the Clingendael Institute)

Moderator: Monika Sie Dhian Ho (General Director, the Clingendael Institute)

OVerview of the Conference Room at Clingendael during the Syria debate
Overview of the Clingendael Conference Room with participants engaging in the debate on Syria after Civil War.


11:30: Welcome and registration
12:00-12:20: Introduction by Rena Netjes
12:20-12.45: Discussion
12:45-13:05: Introduction by Erwin van Veen
13:05-14.00: Discussion

Please be advised that these lunch discussions are held under the Chatham House Rule.