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.
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.
The Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Kristian Coates Ulrichsen joins Arab Digest editor William Law in a conversation about how Qatar is renewing independent foreign policy initiatives that are gaining pace as the small Gulf state plays a pivotal role, assisting Washington in smoothing out the rough edges from Joe Biden’s abrupt and chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Summary: while the Gulf states watch with nervous apprehension as President Biden tries to revive the nuclear deal, China is shattering the sanctions and giving Iran an economic lifeline that could wreck hopes for a renewed JCPOA.
Arab Digest editor William Law launches the third season of the podcast with Sami Hamdi, editor in chief of The International Interest. In the wake of the Taliban rout of the US and its coalition allies we consider gains and losses, whether or not the Taliban victory will spark intensified jihadist insurgencies and who will ultimately determine the timing of when MENA states recognise the new regime in Kabul.
Summary: climate change is driving global energy transition and both the pace of change and the manner in which it is effected will have a profound impact on the Middle East’s hydrocarbons producers.
Summary: Oman is well placed to move by incremental, evolutionary steps towards a democracy rooted in Islamic values but is Sultan Haitham ready to take those steps?
Arab Digest editor William Law is joined by the author and academic Christopher Davidson. He’s written several books on the Gulf, the latest, just published by Hurst, is titled From Sheikhs to Sultanism. Their conversation is about two crown princes and their transformation into regional power players. Mohammed bin Salman enjoys playing on the world stage while Mohammed bin Zayed takes a more quiet road but both have consolidated power in an unprecedented manner as they shift from sheikhs to sultans.