The Gulf Crisis: Political Implications for the Middle East. Expert Discussion

27.09.2017

On September 27, the Valdai Discussion Club held an expert discussion, titled  “The Gulf Crisis: Political Implications for the Middle East.”

The diplomatic conflict that erupted in the Gulf in June 2017 put traditional allies Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE at odds with Qatar. The crisis that originates as an internal Gulf dispute sent shockwaves across the Middle East raising concerns that disagreements within the block may have repercussions for the process of the Syrian settlement as well as for such distant contexts as the Palestinian and the Libyan crises. 

The lack of traditional consensus between the Gulf powers spelled more troubles for the US and Russia in their attempts to bring an end to Middle Eastern instability. Both Moscow and Washington made overtures to the Gulf to position themselves as potential mediators in the diplomatic crisis, but as of yet no progress has been achieved. 

How will the Gulf crisis re-shape the fight against terrorism in the Middle East? How will the US strategy for the region be affected with two of its key counter-terrorism allies at odds with each other? Does Russia see the rift between the Gulf powers as an opportunity or a liability? What should regional powers in the Middle East expect from this crisis? These are some of the questions to be addressed by the participants of the discussion. 

Moderator:

  • Oleg Barabanov - Program Director at the Valdai Discussion Club 

Participants:

  • Ibrahim Fraihat - Associate Professor at the Conflict Management and Humanitarian Action Program at the Doha Institute

  • Leonid Issaev - Senior Lecturer, Department for Political Science of the National Research University Higher School of Economics

  • Vladimir Ahmedov - Senior fellow at the Center for Contemporary Middle East problems with the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences