Arab–French Relations in Light of Regional Changes

Arab–French Relations in Light of Regional Changes

  • 10 June 2015

The Middle East region is witnessing a host of geostrategic changes due to a number of different factors, most notably the effects of the so-called “Arab Spring.” Western countries have different readings and analyses of developments in the region, each reflecting their own interests and locations. The United States, for example, seeks to maintain historical relations with the primary actors in the Middle East—albeit while employing approaches that contradict the interests of a number of Arab Gulf countries.

A group of European countries led by France has attempted to extend new bridges of cooperation with the region, which continues to enjoy a margin of autonomous interaction with global issues. The movements in the Gulf made by both the French president François Hollande, and earlier French officials, stem from clear convictions that the UAE and Saudi Arabia are two essential pillars for stability not only in the Gulf but also across the entire Arab world. They are of the opinion that the so-called “Arab Spring” has weakened many states in the region without offering viable alternatives, resulting in threats to the security and stability of southern Europe. This new status quo requires clear geo-regional solutions with carefully formulated priorities. Necessary measures include backing the Egyptian regime to strengthen stability, and complete cooperation with the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the face of attempts to redraw existing alliances and the regional balance of power—namely those based on the view that Tehran and Ankara comprise two alternative sources for leadership of the Middle East.

In this context, the lecture  discussed a range of theses relevant to the strategic vision behind French foreign policy, and how recent developments in the region can be addressed—from the rise of ISIL to Operation Decisive Storm and the Iranian threat.

Lecture Video

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LECTURER

Wednesday 10 June 2015

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Wednesday 10 June 2015

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