The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW

Past Events
On Friday May 15, GCC Assistant Secretary-General Abdel Aziz Abu Hamad Aluwaisheg addressed over a dozen journalists during a news conference at AGSIW following the U.S.-GCC Camp David Summit. Aluwaisheg said the summit "exceeded the expectations of most of us." He noted the GCC members finished the meeting reassured about the talks on Iran’s nuclear program. “In general, it’s the best deal we can have,” he told reporters. While it’s “not perfect,” Aluwaisheg said, “it establishes a very robust inspection system.” In an interview with Al Monitor, AGSIW President Marcelle Wahba noted GCC members attending the summit welcomed the promise of increased U.S. security support.

Following the announcement of the framework agreement in Geneva, President Barack Obama suggested that a final deal on Tehran’s nuclear program could also signal the start of a new relationship between the United States and Iran. Gulf states grew skeptical at these developments, worried that the actions would increase Iranian regional influence and signal diminished U.S. commitment to the Gulf. To allay these concerns, President Obama held a summit at Camp David to demonstrate continued alliance with and support for the Gulf states.

The panel discussed Gulf-U.S.sentiments and expectations ahead of the summit and was joined by guest speaker Assistant Secretary General for Foreign Affairs of the Gulf Cooperation Council Dr. Abdel Aziz Abu Hamad Aluwaisheg.

This event focused on the recent dramatic fall in the price of oil, the motivations behind OPEC’s decision to maintain production levels, and the implications of low oil prices for shale producers, offshore drilling, and alternative energy development. The discussion further examined the effect of continued volatility in oil prices on Gulf States and other Middle East countries, and the impact of the decrease in U.S. dependence on oil imports on U.S. foreign policy and relationships with Middle East oil producers.
Click here for the event video

The Bridge blog

It may not have been a massive breakthrough, but in defiance of most predictions, last week’s summit meeting between American president Barack Obama and leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries proved a significant success. Both sides appear to have achieved their basic aims. And, most importantly, the stage is set for a much longer and broader conversation that should restore a crucial, albeit frayed, strategic relationship.
Read more

At this week’s summit at Camp David, both American and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders will be genuinely hoping for a reset in their recently frayed relations. The challenges are difficult, but hardly insurmountable.

The single most important issue is international nuclear negotiations with Iran. Washington initiated the meeting explicitly as a means of addressing the concerns of Gulf Arab states regarding the talks with Iran. The American side will try to explain what, precisely, Washington is trying to accomplish, and how all the states in the region will benefit from a nuclear agreement.
Read more

AGSIW in the Media

In its coverage ahead of the U.S.-GCC Summit at Camp David, BBC Arabic joined AGSIW for the event “The Camp David Summit: Redefining the U.S.-GCC Relationship?” and spoke with AGSIW Vice President Ambassador Stephen Seche about the Saudi airstrikes and crisis in Yemen.

Speaking with Al Jazeera America, AGSIW President Ambassador Marcelle Wahba discussed regional turmoil and the GCC countries’ concerns with the role Iran is playing in Arab countries.

Similarly addressing those concerns, AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish told AFP, and was also cited in Arab News and The Arab Weekly, “What they fear, above all, is that, for one reason or another, American policy is beginning to ’tilt’ toward Tehran and away from traditional US allies in the region.”

In a McClatchy report Ibish remarked on the Gulf outlook ahead of the summit. “The GCC message here is that this has to be the start of a long conversation,” he said, “Camp David’s not the last word.”

Additionally, Ibish spoke with the Los Angeles Times, mentioning that the senior officials weren’t expecting to settle all the issues. He noted, “If they can get 70% of the way there, that will feel like 100%.”

AGSIW Non-Resident Fellow Sigurd Neubauer spoke to Voice of America about the ceasefire in Yemen, noting “Despite the opposing parties accusing one another of violations, we have seen that humanitarian supplies have been successfully delivered, whether that is through Djibouti, to the port of Hodeida or planeloads with supplies (from Doctors Without Borders) to Sana’a.”

Read more here:

1050 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1060

Washington, DC 20036

unsubscribe | update subscription preferences