International and Regional Involvement in the Middle East
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, accompanied by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, left, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, right, speaks at a joint news conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, Oct. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Workshop Series

Mapping the Middle East in 2021

September 29, 2021

Since former President Barack Obama announced a U.S. pivot toward Asia, Gulf Arab leaders have perceived that the United States is withdrawing from the region. This is prompting Gulf Arab states to turn to other powers, principally Russia and, to a lesser extent, China. While the level of U.S. interest and involvement in the region can be debated, and a new administration reconfigures how it engages with partners and adversaries in the Middle East, the Gulf region is becoming increasingly multipolar. How is this reality affecting partnerships and alliances in the region? How are regional and local actors positioning themselves? Will there be increased Gulf Arab security cooperation following the Al Ula summit? Have the Abraham Accords reshaped regional alliances in the face of regional threats?


Regional Influences on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Following the Abraham Accords

November 17, 2021

The Abraham Accords came as a major blow to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian national movement more broadly. The movement has tied its strategy for years to the Arab Peace Initiative, which committed Arab states to diplomatic openings with Israel based on a two-state solution and an end to the occupation that began in 1967. What do the accords mean for Israeli-Palestinian relations? Will these developments fundamentally alter Palestinian strategic calculations or simply expose existing weaknesses? Will the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain be able or inclined to use their new relations with Israel on behalf of Palestinian interests? How does this affect domestic Palestinian and Israeli politics? Is there a new opening on Palestinian issues for regional powers, such as Iran or Turkey, or does this mainly strengthen coalitions opposing their agendas?


    Moran Zaga

    Researcher and Lecturer of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa

    Hussein Ibish

    Senior Resident Scholar, AGSIW

The Abraham Accords: A Buffer Against Turkish and Iranian Influence?

January 19, 2022

The normalization process between Israel and Gulf Arab states opens up new diverse opportunities for strategic collaborations. Many in Israel and Gulf Arab capitals see the top political-security priority for relations as a strategic realignment and the creation of a broad regional front against the two non-Arab powers, Iran and Turkey. Do the Abraham Accords signify a combined attempt of Arab Sunni states and Israel to balance Iranian Shia regional influence? Does the same thinking apply vis-a-vis Turkish influence in the region?


The Biden Foreign Policy Agenda

March 23, 2022

President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s Middle East priorities are becoming clearer: His statements and the special envoys he has appointed give primacy to Iran and Yemen. What are the implications of Biden’s evolving Middle East agenda? And what do the administration’s moves over the last few months indicate for the next three years?


    DB Des Roches

    Non-Resident Fellow, AGSIW; Associate Professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University

    F. Gregory Gause, III, PhD

    Board Member, AGSIW

    Evyenia Sidereas

    Director of Arabian Peninsula Affairs, Near Eastern Bureau, U.S. Department of State

The Implications of the U.S.-China Global Competition for the Middle East

May 25, 2022

The Middle East, including the oil-rich Gulf countries, is a key part of the Belt and Road Initiative that is crucial to China’s energy supply and trade ties with the rest of the world. Over the past decade, China’s relationships with the countries of the Middle East, especially the Gulf states, have rapidly grown beyond energy sales. China’s increased interest in the Middle East has also come at a time when the United States is perceived as pulling back from the region and is seemingly more concerned with global competition with China. What are the implications for the Middle East of U.S.-China competition? As China becomes increasingly involved in the region, can it afford to remain uninterested in contributing to the stability of the Middle East? How do countries like Israel and the Gulf states see China’s involvement in the region?


The views represented herein are the author’s or speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of AGSIW, its staff, or its board of directors.

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