Syrian-Saudi relations have been a paradox in inter-Arab politics during the oil era. Commentators and analysts have questioned why the two states pursued mutually conflicting aims in almost every major regional or international foreign policy issue and often propagated contrasting ideological banners over the past thirty years; while both acting as though some form of an alignment existed between them? Here, Sonoko Sunayama explores the logic behind the paradoxical longevity of this cooperative relationship and argues that what ultimately makes Saudis and Syrians so indispensable to each other is the perception and the historical appeal of 'shared identities', be they Arabism or Islam.
Sonoko Sunayama obtained her PhD from the London School of Economics, University of London. She has worked as a consultant and researcher on the Arab region and her current position is with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Yemen Country Office
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION; CHAPTER 2: SYRIAN-SAUDI RELATIONS BEFORE CAMP DAVID: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND (1946-1978); CHAPTER 3: DRAWING THE FAULT LINES: THE CAMP DAVID AGREEMENT AND ITS AFTERMATH (SEPTEMBER 1978 - OCTOBER 1980); CHAPTER 4: HEADING OPPOSING CAMPS: THE PRIMACY OF SAUDI ARABIA (OCTOBER 1980 - SEPTEMBER 1982); CHAPTER 5: THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF 'THE SAUDI ERA' (OCTOBER 1982 - MARCH 1984); CHAPTER 6: SYRIA'S VETO POWER VS. SAUDI QUEST FOR ARAB CONSENSUS: WITH REFERENCE TO THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR (APRIL 1984 - AUGUST 1990); CHAPTER 7: CONCLUSION: OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS OF SHARED IDENTITIES IN FOREIGN POLICY DECISION-MAKING.