Dr. Christian Koch gave a full day of presentations to the Senior Course 129, course members from Modular Short Course 2, as well as the Committee Seminar Group at the NATO Defence College in Rome, Italy on the subject of "Regional Organizations and their impact on Global Security: The Case of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)." The Senior Course is comprise of more than 60 military and government officials from NATO member countries, the Partnership for Peace Programme, the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. The main focus of the various presentations included to provide a general overview of the regional integration processes and their contribution to peace and security in the Greater Middle East; to examine the foreign, defence and security policies of the GCC as well as the key security-related issues affecting the organization; to identify the main sources of current and future instability in the region, and address the geo-strategic importance of GCC for regional and global security; and to assess the GCC's relations and co-operation with key external actors, including NATO, in responding to emerging risks to security and stability in the regions, as well as the consequences for the Alliance. The discussions took place in the forms of a lecture, question and answers sessions and smaller group discussions.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the GRC Foundation, held meetings with Dr. Björn Hinrichs, Director of the German-Arab Friendship Group in Berlin, and with Dr. Günter Mulack, Director of the German Orient Institut to discuss cooperation and mutual interests. He also held a meeting with Jeremias Kettner of Hofgrefe Consulting where the two sides discussed German-Qatari relations and the role of foreign economic investment.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the GRC Foundation, took part in workshop held by the Center for Preventive Action of the Council on Foreign Relations on “What do about the Saudi-Iranian Rivalry,” held at the Tufts European Center in Tailloires, France. The workshop brought together 20 participants to discuss understanding the sources and dynamics of the Saudi-Iranian Rivalry, Assessing the Risks of current and emerging concerns, the role of the United States and Europe in managing the rivalry, and how to forestall future developments.
Dr. Christian Koch participated in the Book Talk on Arab Geopolitics in Turmoil held at NATO Headquarters on the invitation of Amb. Sorin Ducaru, Assistant Secretary General for NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division. The book launch is a result of the conference that the Gulf Research Center Foundation held with the NATO Defence College Foundation in February 2016 in Rome. In addition to Dr. Koch’s remarks, Nicola de Santis , Head of the Middle East and North Africa Division at NATO’s Political Affairs and Security Policy Division and Prof. Alessandro Politi, Director of the NATO Defence College Foundation also spoke. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Deniz Beten of NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Division. The book with the individual contributions to the February conference is available on the GRC and the NATO Defence College Foundation website for a free download.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the GRC Foundation met with Dr. Ioannis Loukas, General Director for Middle East and North Africa Business Strategies and Politics of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems International Qatar, at the GRC office in Geneva. They discussed cooperation between the two institutions as well as developments in the region.
Dr. Christian Koch participated in a discussion with Dr. Saad Bin Tiflah Al-Ajmi, former Kuwaiti Minister of Information, held at the Konrad-Adenuer-Foundation in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Al-Ajmi spoke about “Secularism or Failure – The Future of the Middle East” with Dr. Koch providing some comments followed by a general discussion. The event was sponsored by the German-Arab Friendship Society.