Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back the Baker Institute’s Kristian Coates Ulrichsen for a conversation about how the UAE and Saudi Arabia are on the sidelines but acutely watching how talks to revive the nuclear deal with Iran are faring in Vienna. Also on the table: Yemen, Syria, the Biden White House and the growing competition between the two GCC neighbours on the economic front.
Arab Digest editor William Law kicks off the Digest’s first podcast of 2022 with the Egyptian analyst and writer Maged Mandour who argues that President Sisi has tethered Egypt’s foreign policy to the domestic imperative of strengthening his harsh authoritarian grip. Through massive borrowing and weapons purchases Sisi has lured Europe and America into turning a blind eye to human rights abuses and to an economic model that is destined to fail with profound consequences for Egypt, MENA and the wider world.
Arab Digest editor William Law is in conversation with the Conservative MP Crispin Blunt about his efforts to find justice for Palestinians through the Israeli and international justice systems. He is he says “done with false hope” and the way forward now is to use the courts to right historic wrongs commmited against the Palestinian people.
Arab Digest editor William Law is joined by the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Cinzia Bianco. Cinzia takes an insightful look at the year just past in the Middle East and North Africa, from coups, to Covid, to MbS and MbZ, to alliances abandoned and new ones forged. And she offers her predictions for 2022.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back the geopolitical analyst and commentator Samuel Ramani to discuss how, in the past decade, Russia has consistently played a strong hand in the Middle East, buttressing relations with MENA states and presenting itself as an honest disputes mediator while exploiting anxieties and uncertainties to advantage as America continues to pull away from its longstanding role as the region’s guarantor of security.
Arab Digest editor William Law in conversation with the Newlines Institute’s Caroline Rose on the consequences of the accelerating US withdrawal from MENA as the Biden administration continues its pivot away from a region where America had served as security guarantor for decades. In a power vacuum created by a US retreat, new players are emerging to stake a claim and new alliances are forming.
Just a little over a year after they were signed, Arab Digest editor William Law talks with Gulf State Anaytics CEO Giorgio Cafiero about the impact and implications of the Abraham Accords, the Trump-engineered deal that saw Israel triple the number of Arab states with whom it has diplomatic relations at no cost to itself but at a very great cost to the cause of Palestinian statehood.
Arab Digest editor William Law is in conversation with Dr Ali Bakir, a MENA region geopolitical and security analyst at Qatar University’s Ibn Khaldoon Center for Humanities and Social Sciences. On the table is a discussion about the UAE’s diplomatic initiative in Syria as ‘Little Sparta’ curbs its military adventures in favour of soft power approaches aimed at relationship building with, amongst others, Iran.
Newlines Institute senior analyst Rasha Al Aqeedi joins Arab Digest editor William Law to discuss the assassination attempt on the Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. After an election that was a serious setback for parties that back armed militias will the attempt to kill the prime minister usher in a new wave of violence or will his efforts at de-escalation prevail?
Arab Digest editor William Law is in conversation with the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Libya expert Tarek Megerisi. With a presidential vote slated for 24 December they discuss whether or not it will happen, who is likely to win if it does and what’s at stake for Libya if an election that lacks basic principles of fairness and transparency goes ahead.
Arab Digest editor William Law talks with Michael Stephens, Senior Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute about the UK’s role in the Middle East after Brexit. They discuss the need for fresh thinking among policy makers and explore challenges and opportunities in a region where Britain has historical, political and economic ties.
Palestinian author, activist and human rights attorney Jonathan Kuttab joins Arab Digest editor William Law for a conversation that focuses on a radical rethink of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Kuttab has abandoned any hope for two states and is now calling for a single entity that recognises the rights and obligations of both sides.