2021 saw the development of new global and regional geopolitical dynamics which have had a significant impact on the socio-political and economic landscape of the Middle East. The United States’ military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the return to nuclear negotiations with Iran alongside intensifying competition with China is poised to have an impact on the economic and political landscape in MENA. Internally, a notable trend in 2021 has been regional de-escalation. Saudi Arabia has taken the lead in reinstating Gulf Cooperation Council unity by mending ties with Qatar. Relations have improved between the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, and between Turkey and Egypt while the UAE has forged ahead on its path to increase cooperation with Israel through the Abraham Accords. At the same time though, competition between the UAE and Saudi Arabia has been gradually increasing. The continuing civil wars in Syria and Yemen, and the activities of hybrid armed actors continue to play a destabilizing role for regional security. With Covid-19 not yet abated, inflationary pressure on the horizon and increased fiscal pressure in non-oil producing states, the prospect for social instability is high.
This exclusive event for supporters, launching the MENA Programme’s new Geopolitical Trends and Scenarios Events Series, will focus on the macro trends affecting the politics, security and economy of the MENA region in 2022. Chatham House experts will also discuss key country-specific dynamics including Turkey’s economic and foreign policy, the Libyan political environment following the postponement of the December 2021 election, the economic and political crisis in Lebanon, the outcome of the October 2021 election in Iraq, the future of the JCPOA and the risk of regional conflict.
This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.