Gulf Arab States

  • The Silk Road and the Gulf: A New Frontier for the RMB

    Many view China’s Belt and Road Initiative as the most geoeconomically significant infrastructure project since the Marshall Plan. Promising alternative trade routes, abundant capital flows, and advanced infrastructure to the developing world, the program has scaled significantly since its inception in 2013.

    Standing at the crossroads of Eurasia, the Arab Gulf states and broader Middle East are an important link between the economies of East Asia and Western Europe.

    Yet the region’s chronic and destabilizing conflicts pose a challenge for Beijing, which has distanced itself from entangling alliances outside its core periphery. In the Middle East, China will find it much harder to invest neutrally, especially within the context of the Saudi-Iran conflict and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) dispute. In the case of the former, China is Tehran’s key economic benefactor, with sanctions now being re-imposed. With Iranian oil locked out of European and US markets, the


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  • Expert Analysis on Jared Kushner’s Trip to the Middle East

    Jared Kushner, senior adviser to the US President Donald Trump, is on his way to six countries in the Gulf states to discuss and present part of his long awaited Israel-Palestine peace process plan in private meetings with foreign diplomats. He is expected to visit Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Turkey over the next few days. While the plan is still held tightly secret, experts are speculating on the selection of countries Kushner is to visit and what that implies for the plan. Below are Atlantic Council’s Middle East experts analysis on the implications of this visit and what it means for the later unveiling in April this year.

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  • Bashar al-Assad and the Greater Arab World

    The outcome of the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development (AESD) summit held in Lebanon last month spoke volumes about the Middle East’s deep divisions. Iran’s role in the Levant and the question of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s legitimacy are unquestionably polarizing issues in the region. Both have potential to slow down the process by which Syria’s government, citizens, and fellow Arab states could reach agreement on a lasting settlement to the country’s eight-year civil war that could potentially pave the path for peace and stability returning to Syria.

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  • How Iran and the Gulf Arab States Can Start a Dialogue Again

    It’s hard to overstate the regional impact of the rivalry between Iran and several Gulf Arab states—most notably Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—bordering in recent years on enmity.

    While these countries haven’t come close to direct warfare, tensions have impacted many regional conflicts in the Middle East including in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, and festering instability in countries like Lebanon, Bahrain, and even among the Palestinians.

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