The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

In Search of a Trump Administration Middle East Policy

U.S. President Donald J. Trump's first overseas trip raises the question of whether a definitive Trump administration Middle East policy may be starting to take shape, and how that process relates to both the policies and regional strategic circumstances that the new administration inherited from its immediate predecessor. 
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The Bridge blog
Trump’s Saudi Agenda: Advance Shared Goals and Change the Channel

U.S. President Donald J. Trump left Washington on Friday for his first overseas trip, under a mounting cloud of domestic controversy, beginning with a crucial visit to Saudi Arabia. Despite Trump’s widely-reported aversion to travel and an instinct to stay close to home to deal with perceptions that the administration is spinning out of control, the president may find himself welcoming an important and ambitious international journey that can allow him to build his global profile as a statesman and create a firmer imprint on U.S. Middle East policy.
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Oil Producers Work to Extend Supply Cuts at Upcoming Vienna Meeting

Global oil markets remain volatile ahead of OPEC’s May 25 ministerial meeting on expectations that the producer group and its non-OPEC partners will extend production cuts until the end of 2017. The alliance agreed to reduce production by a collective 1.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) from January to June in a bid to rebalance oversupplied oil markets. Mounting concerns that resurgent U.S. oil production will offset lower supplies have led to oil prices trading in a volatile and wide range of $7.50 per barrel (bbl) since mid-March, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures falling to a five-month low of just $45.88/bbl on May 9.
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Kuwaitis Debate Power over Citizenship

By Abdullah Alkhonaini

Over the past five years, Kuwait has witnessed considerable internal political confrontation. In 2012 the opposition-driven Parliament was dissolved by court order. In an appeal for national unity, the emir took the opportunity to change the voting system to a single vote per person, ending the coalition politics employed by the opposition political societies. Since then, tension between the opposition and the government has been escalating. In 2014 and 2015, the executive branch, through the minister of interior, withdrew the citizenship of 33 people. 
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AGSIW in Arabic

بدأ الرئيس ترامب جولته الدولية الأولى في الشرق الأوسط وأوروبا بعد انهائه أسوأ أسبوع له في الحكم تعرض فيه لعدد من النكسات، معظمها من صنعه، وتسببت بزعزعة ولايته بعد أربعة أشهر من تنصيبه. ويأمل البيت الأبيض أن يؤدي الاستقبال الحار الذي سيلقاه ترامب ووفده في أول محطة له في السعودية، وبعدها إسرائيل، إلى تحويل الاهتمام الإعلامي والسياسي عن مشاكل وفضائح ترامب في واشنطن، إلى قضايا دولية ملحة وآنية، مثل مكافحة الإرهاب، والتصدي للسلوك الإيراني التخريبي في المنطقة، واحتمال تقليص التوتر بين إسرائيل والفلسطينيين وربما إحياء الاتصالات، أن لم نقل المفاوضات بين الطرفين
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In addition to original content, in Arabic is regularly updated with new Arabic translations of AGSIW's analysis. New translations include:
US-Gulf Policy Symmetries are Genuine and Significant

Donald Trump flew into sunny Saudi Arabia pursued by some of the darkest clouds looming over Washington in decades. While the American capital is becoming increasingly inhospitable to the embattled new president, he was sure to be warmly received in Riyadh. It makes perfect sense for Arabian Gulf countries to seize this important, and perhaps historic, opportunity to strengthen their crucial relationships with United States that frayed during the Barack Obama years.
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Past Events
The Domestic Politics of Economic Reform in Kuwait

On May 16, AGSIW was pleased to host a conversation with H.E. Yousef Al-Ebraheem addressing Kuwait's challenges and opportunities amid regional economic reforms. In a time of fiscal consolidation, Kuwait has embraced regulatory reform to boost its private sector and attract foreign investment. The country's success in reducing its fiscal expenditure by slashing subsidies, however, has been more contentious. 
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Saudi Arabia Transforming

On May 10, AGSIW hosted the conference "Saudi Arabia Transforming" focusing on the key drivers reshaping Saudi Arabia, a year after the release of Saudi Vision 2030.

Videos from the conference are now available online. Stay tuned for the full conference report to be published in the coming weeks.
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Oxford-GCC Business Conference

As part of the OxGaps Oxford-GCC Business Conference, AGSIW organized the panel “The New Creative Economy in the Gulf.” Chaired by AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan, the panel discussed the role of the arts in promoting economic diversification, both by developing new industries and generating a culture more conducive to creativity and innovation. AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young also presented on women's economic inclusion in the Gulf. Additionally, Diwan and Young delivered presentations to political officers and analysts at the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
In the Media
For Al Arabiya, Nadia Bilbassy discussed AGSIW's "Saudi Arabia Transforming" conference, speaking with AGSIW President Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba about economic reform in Saudi Arabia.

In addition, Wahba spoke to Kuwait News Agency about U.S. President Donald J. Trump's Middle East policy, saying that the region is a priority. "He has made it clear that this is a number one area that he is looking at in terms of countering terrorism and looking for an opportunity to expand our cooperation with allies in the region in countering the Islamic State (IS) and others like al-Qaeda." Wahba also discussed Trump's visit with Al Arabiya, providing an overview of the U.S. presence in the Middle East in recent decades.

Speaking with Middle East Eye, AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish also commented on Trump's policy toward the Gulf Arab states. "With the UAE, it's likely to be very operational, particularly regarding joint military actions ... With Saudi Arabia, it will probably be in broad strategic terms, combining major economic initiatives and a general reorientation of American policy in the region back towards the Arab side." Additionally, Ibish spoke with Jewish Insider about the implications of Trump's visit to Israel.

AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan commented on U.S.-UAE relations for Arabian Business: "The Arab Gulf states spent the last few years basically waiting out Obama, believing that any change in American leadership would be an improvement." Speaking with CBS News, AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young commented on the ethics of Donald Trump Jr.'s commencement speech at the American University in Dubai.
Visiting Scholar

Position Title: Visiting Scholar
Department/Team: Senior Resident Scholars
Period: Fall 2017
Location: Washington, DC

Job Summary: Visiting Scholars are individuals who possess a PhD or equivalent professional experience, and whose primary purpose for residence at AGSIW is to conduct independent research. The length of stay for a visiting scholar is typically a semester or academic year. AGSIW is actively seeking candidates with significant regional experience and fluency in written and spoken Arabic. AGSIW will provide a stipend that can be used to cover living expenses, travel costs, or incidental research expenses.

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Research Associate (Economic Analysis)

Position Title: Research Associate (Economic Analysis)
Department/Team: Senior Resident Scholars
Period: Part Time (20-25 hours/week, no benefits)
Location: Washington, DC

Job Summary: Provide research assistance and support to senior resident scholars at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. At the direction of the scholars, conduct research on Gulf politics, foreign policy, finance, macroeconomics, and U.S. policy toward the region. Monitor contemporary developments in the Gulf states and U.S. policy, including reviews of regional and international media. Source data, compile bibliographies, and write summaries on relevant topics. Create charts and graphics for AGSIW publications. Provide communications and logistical support to senior resident scholars, and perform additional tasks as requested.

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OxGAPS Call for Articles

Submission Deadline: July 7

Gulf Affairs invites scholars to submit original analytical articles for its upcoming issue on the theme “Foreign Policy Trends in the GCC States,” edited by AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young.

Gulf Affairs is a journal founded by the Oxford Gulf & Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum (OxGAPS), a University of Oxford-based platform. The journal is dedicated to furthering knowledge and dialogue on the pressing issues and challenges facing the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Each issue focuses on a particular theme, allowing for a comprehensive discussion from various analytical perspectives and fields of study. Accepted articles are reviewed and edited prior to publication.

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