Diplomacy

U.S. Returns Ambassador to Syria

For the first time in four years a U.S. ambassador will return to Syria in an effort to mend relations with Islam and the Arab Middle East, The Washington Post reports. President Obama’s decision to reinstate an ambassador was announced Tuesday night by the office of Imad Mustafa, Syria’s ambassador to Washington. The U.S. fell out of favor in the region because of Arab opposition to the Iraq war and a perceived partiality toward Israel. In 2005, the Bush administration withdrew its Syrian ambassador to protest the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harriri, in which Syrian intelligence officials are suspected. “We're determined to engage in a comprehensive way in the region,” said a senior administration official. “This is an important step we are taking as part of that strategy.”