How has MENA turmoil affected external powers’ interests?

Experts assess how China, Russia, the UK and the US are responding to crisis in the region.

Open event, Panel Recording
14 March 2024 — 2:00PM TO 3:00PM

Event video

— Experts assess how China, Russia, the UK and the USA are responding to crisis in the region.

The war in Gaza has taken a regional dimension that risks creating broader turmoil across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

While the United States has been engaged in diplomatic efforts aimed at a humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza, Washington has also responded to attacks by armed groups from the ‘axis of resistance’ in Syria and Iraq. The US, along with the UK, launched strikes on Yemen’s Houthis to counter assaults on shipping in the Red Sea. However, the US and, to a lesser extent, the UK’s activism has prompted criticism from Russia and China who consider Western strikes illegal despite the lack of such designation in the UN Security Council.

Russia seems eager to break through its international isolation over the war in Ukraine by trying to mediate and deepen ties with key Palestinian factions set to meet in Moscow on 26 February. Meanwhile, China’s commercial interests are negatively affected by the Houthis’ attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea. Nonetheless, there is no sign Beijing will abandon its careful, risk-averse policy, which has been its modus operandi since the start of the war in Gaza.

In this webinar, a panel of experts will discuss:

  • Why does the US resist international pressure at the UN to support a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, and what are the regional implications?
  • What are the policies and calculations of China, Russia, and the UK towards regional escalation?
  • How do they interact with US policy in the broader MENA region?
  • What opportunities and challenges does the current regional context create for external powers’ interests?