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.
Summary: the media landscape in MENA shows a harsh story of journalists jailed, criticism silenced and authoritarians in absolute control.
Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the author and MENA analyst Christopher Davidson. Their conversation focusses on how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is proving beneficial for the region’s autocratic leaders and not simply because the price of hydrocarbons has soared. Amongst other windfalls Russia’s oligarchs are finding new homes in the Gulf and bringing their wealth with them.
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?
Summary: as America continues to withdraw from the Middle East, China sees opportunities and has moved adeptly into Iraq with commitments to build infrastructure that will help get the country out of its energy crisis.
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.
Summary: the GCC states are continuing to push ahead on the economic front while wondering what damage Omicron will inflict.
Summary: despite Trump’s bold claims last year, other than the UAE and Bahrain no other GCC state has stepped forward to recognise Israel.
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.
Summary: the EU needs to move rapidly to achieve net zero by 2050 while the GCC needs to break its addiction to oil while facing its own severe climate challenges; green hydrogen promises a way forward for both.