Gas

A Mediterranean energy treble

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes top North Africa energy analyst Francis Ghilès to the podcast to talk about the potential energy alliance between Italy, Tunisia and Algeria as the war in Ukraine grinds on and sanctions on Russia begin to bite. Italy is determined to become Europe’s energy hub while Tunisia has the geographic proximity to the continent and Algeria the resources for a nexus of interests to emerge, one that could prove a winner for all three.

Biden in a bind

Arab Digest editor William Law’s podcast guest is Giorgio Cafiero, the CEO of Washington-based Gulf State Analytics. Their conversation focusses on US-Saudi relations and the awkward situation US president Joe Biden finds himself in needing to reach some sort of accommodation with the Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman as petrol prices rocket and America’s domestic economic woes mount.

The EU to the Gulf: Let’s do a deal

The European Council on Foreign Relations’ Cinzia Bianco joins Arab Digest editor William Law to talk about the partnership deal that the EU is proposing to the Gulf states. Large in ambition and sweeping in scope, it was released in Brussels in mid-May and titled ‘Joint Communication to the European Parliament and Council: a strategic partnership with the Gulf.’ So is the proposal a gamechanger or is it a dustcatcher? Will the Gulf play ball or are there red lines that will stop the initiative in its tracks? Cinzia weighs up the pros and cons and delivers her verdict.

Gulf jitters in the JCPOA jive

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back Qatar University Gulf analyst Dr Ali Bakir to discuss what’s at stake for the region and beyond as the JCPOA talks, which appeared close to reaching the finish line, now seem bogged down in Vienna. What the Iranians see as a weakened US administration may allow them to drag the negotiations out and ultimately doom the deal, a scenario that could trigger a MENA nuclear arms race.

Western hypocrites and MENA potentates

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back Andreas Krieg of the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London and their conversation focusses on the battle that liberal democracy now finds itself engaged in as its MENA partners play the neutral card while quietly backing their ideological ally Putin in his war in Ukraine. It is an existential struggle, one encumbered with a stark hypocrisy.

Algeria and Europe’s scramble for gas

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back Francis Ghilès, a leading expert on energy and politics in North Africa. Their conversation revolves around the huge opportunities and the challenges the war in the Ukraine has given Algeria and its state-owned energy corporation Sonatrach. As Europe scrambles to find alternatives to Russian gas, Algeria is well placed to play the advantage. The question is will it and will Europe realise that finally it needs to treat Algeria and North Africa as equals?

Net zero chasing in the Gulf

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back author and analyst Jim Krane. Jim is energy research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute and an expert on Gulf energy matters. Their conversation focusses on the quest for net zero. Are Gulf hydrocarbons producers serious about hitting their ambitious targets or is this little more than a PR mirage?

Of debt and weapons: Sisi’s foreign policy

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.

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