Baker Institute founding director available to discuss United States-Syrian relations

CONTACT: David Ruth
PHONE: 713-348-6327

MEDIA NOTE: The United States has nominated an ambassador to Syria, a move seen as an effort to repair relations and bolster the U.S.-Syrian bilateral relationship.

Baker Institute founding director available to discuss United States-Syrian relations

President Barack Obama has nominated Robert Stephen Ford to be the new United States ambassador to Damascus. The post has been vacant since the United States withdrew its ambassador in February 2005.

Edward P. Djerejian, the founding director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, served as the United States ambassador to Syria from 1988-1991. In an Aug. 11, 2009 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Djerejian wrote “A high-level bilateral dialogue could enhance our national security interests.” He cited areas of possible cooperation including Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, reducing Syrian support for Hezbollah and Palestinian radicals, Lebanese sovereignty, intelligence gathering on al-Qaeda and other issues.

Regarding the United States’ diplomatic overture to Syria, Djerejian said, “Ambassador-designate Ford is a veteran Foreign Service officer with long experience in the Arab world. If confirmed by the Senate, Ford will be an outstanding chief of mission of the United States. His nomination by President Obama demonstrates the willingness of the United States to engage the Syrians on the broad range of issues in our bilateral relationship.”

Djerejian is available to discuss the latest developments in U.S.-Syrian relations with members of the news media. To schedule an interview with Djerejian, contact David Ruth at 713-348-6327 or For after-hours or weekend bookings, contact Ruth at 612-702-9473.

Djerejian, who also served as U.S. ambassador to Israel and assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, is the author of the recently released book ”Danger and Opportunity: An American Ambassador’s Journey Through the Middle East.”

To view Djerejian’s bio, go to

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