Summary: the Ukraine/Russia crisis has laid bare Europe’s dangerous reliance on Russian energy but at the same time it has opened up new opportunities for the exporting of Libyan and Algerian gas to the continent.
Arab Digest editor William Law is joined by Chatham House’s Renad Mansour. Their conversation begins with the impact of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine on Iraq and other MENA countries who may find themselves forced to take sides. They then explore the current challenges the Iraqi people face in a country where politically sanctioned corruption flourishes at a rampant pace.
Arab Digest editor welcomes back Sami Hamdi, editor-in-chief of The International Interest and their conversation explores a surprising rapprochement between the UAE and Turkey as President Erdoğan grapples with an economic crisis at home and setbacks to his efforts to assert leadership ascendancy in the MENA region.
Summary: with the exception of occasional news reports, the war in Syria grinds on with little coverage of the growing threat of IS or awareness that the international community has moved to accept Bashar al-Assad back into the fold even as millions of Syrians continue to suffer inside and outside the country.
Summary: the UAE continues to insist it is cleaning up its act when it comes to money-laundering, gold and antiquities smuggling but lucrative criminal networks continue to flourish while key players remain unpunished.
Summary: as President Kais Saied consolidates power in Tunisia, Europe needs to look at itself and start asking some hard questions, a leading Maghreb analyst argues.
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 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: Vladimir Putin can look back at 2021 satisfied in the knowledge that Russia has further strengthened its hand in the Middle East and North Africa.
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.