The Vatican's New Foreign Policy: Implications for the Middle East
Massimo Franco, Political Columnist; Author, Crisis in the Vatican Empire
Chair: Nomi Bar-Yaacov, Associate Fellow, International Security Department, Chatham House
Massimo Franco will discuss how and to what effect the Vatican can best harness its soft power in a multipolar world. He will consider the Vatican's perspective on various trends in a turbulent Middle East. He will explore how the Syrian crisis has presented Islamic radicals with a pretext to attack Christian minorities following many years of war in which there has been an identification of Christians with the West.
As the Vatican reasserts its presence on the international stage, the speaker will also focus on Pope Francis' relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Vatican's long-term concerns about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.