The sale of doormats featuring the Star of David, enabling Syrians to express their anger with Israel every time they enter or leave their homes, went up in Damascus during the Gaza war. But what Syria calls the “steadfast” position, combining alliance with Iran, support for Hezbollah and Hamas, hostility to Israel and opposition to the policies of the United States, has for some time been less monolithic than it once appeared.
“An ambassador is important,” Assad said. “Sending these delegations is important. This number of congressmen coming to Syria is a good gesture. It shows that this administration wants to see dialogue with Syria. What we have heard from them – Obama, Clinton and others – is positive.” But he added: “We are still in the period of gestures and signals. There is nothing real yet.”