The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has experienced an unprecedented flurry of diplomatic activity that has facilitated greater de-escalation and cooperation. Recent examples of this trend include the restoration of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the normalization of relations between some Gulf countries and Israel.
Global geopolitical shifts and rising domestic and regional socio-economic challenges are encouraging MENA countries to find their own mechanisms to reduce conflict. But it is not clear how long this de-escalatory moment may last as regional relationships remain largely competitive and transactional, and current cooperative initiatives are unlikely to evolve into durable and inclusive forums for regional dialogue.
A new research paper co-authored by Dr Dalia Dassa Kaye and Dr Sanam Vakil argues that the establishment of a new official multilateral forum for sustainable dialogue and engagement is now achievable. Furthermore, such a forum can add a critical cooperative layer to the region’s largely competitive security architecture. The authors analyse the current regional moment and offer preliminary ideas and practical steps for launching a new regional forum. This event will present the paper’s findings and assess current patterns of regional diplomacy amid changing security dynamics in the MENA region.
The event will be livestreamed on the MENA Programme’s Facebook page.