Javier Solana, Europe's top diplomat went to Damascus on Wednesday. His visit - the first for two years - ends France's ban on EU visits to Syria in protest at the murder of Rafik Hariri. Coming straight after meetings between the US and Syrian diplomats in Baghdad and an official visit to Damascus by Ellen Sauerbrey, US assistant secretary of state for refugees and migration, Solana's trip will be hailed as evidence of real rapprochment between the West and Syria.
On Solana's agenda will be Syria's role regarding Iraqi insurgents, the Iraqi refugee crisis, its support for Hamas, and its role in Lebanon's current crisis.
On this last issue, Solana may have problems wresting concessions from the Syrians. Today, the Lebanese government arrested four men who confessed to being paid by the Syrian Intelligence services to plant the bus bombs in Northern Lebanon last month. If made to stick, these allegations constitute more hard evidence against Syrian meddling in Lebanon.
However, despite these accusations, it seems likely that links with Syria and the International Community are set to grow stronger.
As Sami Mobayed argues in the Asia Times, it is Syria's influence with Iran which seems to be the real prize here. "For some time, the world has been divided on what to do with the Syrian-Iranian alliance. Some talk about breaking it - but this would be too difficult. Others, currently in the ascendency, want to invest in it. They believe that Syria is a country that can be talked to and which speaks reason. "