The European Leadership Network (ELNET) and the Forum of Strategic Dialogue (FSD), in partnership with the Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy (DGRIS) in the French Ministry of Defense (MoD), held the fourth “Mini Strategic Dialogue” between France and Israel on developments in Syria. France has a traditional interest in Syria and Lebanon, maintains a military presence in and is one of the leading providers of humanitarian aid. The dialogue took place against the background of the U.S. scaling down its military deployment in Syria (though before it gave way to the Turkish invasion in the north) and an ongoing showdown between Israel and Iran in this theater.
The French delegation was composed of senior staff from the DGRIS, and representatives from the foreign and defense ministries, as well as from the Military Joint Staff. The Israeli side included representatives from the National Security Council, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Ministry of Defense, as well as former senior officials and leading experts from several think tanks.
The dialogue candidly addressed Syria following the defeat of the territorial Islamic Caliphate, the potential for collision between Israel and Iran in Syria and beyond, and great power involvement in Syria.