Despite the raging civil war in Syria, both the opposition groups and the international
community are developing plans for a future without Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
However, those initiatives that consume large financial and operational resources are detached
from the actual situation in Syria. The Gulf states and Turkey have real influence on the
developments, although they favour opposition groups with different religious affiliations and
aim to maximise an outcome of the conflict that most favours their individual interests.
European–Arab cooperation risks weakening the impact of European activities in favour of
these regional countries’ interests.