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Thu, Jun 11, 2020

Sultan Haitham makes a strong start by addressing economic challenges

Sultan Haitham and his government have had to contend with the dual impact of the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of world oil prices, which the Omani government depends upon for most of its revenue.

Blog Post by Marc J. Sievers

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Mon, Apr 20, 2020

At long last, Israel to form a government

Most Israelis want to avoid a fourth election. Most Israelis want to see an empowered government—not a caretaker regime—in place to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

New Atlanticist by Daniel J. Samet

Elections Israel

Fri, Apr 3, 2020

Oman’s handling of the coronavirus

Oman appears to be managing the spread of coronavirus effectively, so far at least with the lowest numbers of deaths and infected persons in the Gulf. Testing is also ramping up, and the controls imposed between regions and the sustained messaging of the public to stay home and maintain social distancing are also likely to produce positive results, especially since over half the number of total cases are within the greater Muscat area.

MENASource by Marc J. Sievers

Coronavirus Middle East

Marc J. Sievers is a nonresident senior fellow for Middle East Programs at the Atlantic Council. Sievers retired in December 2019 a career member of the US Senior Foreign Service with the rank of minister-counselor. His last position was as US ambassador to Oman from January 2016 to November 2019. Prior to his appointment he was a diplomatic fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy from September 2014 to July 2015. Sievers is the first person to be appointed to this position, which is a collaborative program with the US Department of State.

A Foreign Service Officer since 1981, Sievers served as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Cairo from September 2011 to August 2014. He previously held a range of posts in Washington and across the Middle East including political minister-counselor in Baghdad from 2010 to 2011, counselor for political affairs in Tel Aviv from 2006 to 2010, and deputy chief of mission in Algiers from 2003 to 2006. In 2004, he volunteered as senior adviser to Iraq’s transitional Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad. He also served as political counselor in Riyadh, deputy political counselor in Ankara, and political officer in Rabat and Cairo.

Sievers received a BA in history from the University of Utah in 1978 and an MA in international affairs from Columbia University in 1980. He has received numerous awards over his career, including three State Department Superior Honor Awards and four Meritorious Honor Awards, and the American Foreign Service Association’s Sinclaire Language Award for his achievements in the study of the Arabic language and culture.