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Commentary & Analysis

The Gulf Research Center regularly publishes independent commentary and analysis on the most pressing issues impacting the Gulf region. Sign up for updates and to subscribe.

2024-07-23
Saudi-Canada Relations: One Year Later

More than a year has passed since the announcement of the restoration of ties between Saudi Arabia and Canada in May 2023. This restoration, based on “mutual respect and common ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2024-07-04
Risks to Rapprochement: The Death of President Raisi, the Israel-Gaza War, and Iranian Regional Policy

The helicopter crash that killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and six other passengers and crew on May 19, 2024 is unlikel ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2024-06-19
Gulf Investments in China: A New Era of Strategic Partnerships
Published in ISIPI Dossier On
‘Investing Eastward: The Gulf’s Strategic Partnerships in Asia’
By Chiara Lovotti

Original piece was published in ISPI’s dossier titled ‘Investing Eastward: The Gulf’s Strategic Partnerships in Asia’ by Chiara Lovotti on June 18th, 2024.Gulf investments in C ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2024-06-06
Opportunities and Limits of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum

The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) celebrated the 20th year of its establishment and hosted its 10th ministerial meeting in Beijing on May 30, 2024. Leaders and mi ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2024-05-25
Beyond the Gloves: Developments in Saudi Arabia’s Boxing Sector

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to move forward in diversifying its economy, fostering national pride, and contributing to the overall well-being of its citizens. A parti ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2024-05-18
Scope and Facets of Japan-Saudi Arabia Relations

Background Saudi Arabia and Japan have enjoyed a robust and evolving relationship since the formal establishment of diplomatic relations in 1955. The foundation of this relatio ...

Writer: Noriko Suzuki
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2024-05-14
GCC States’ Initial Steps to Combat Desertification

The Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) are getting more outspoken on environmental issues and after successful hosting Climate talks COP28 in Dubai which was a major success for ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf
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2024-05-05
Reforming the United Nations: A GCC Perspective

Introduction The United Nations is a governing body that was designed to be in constant motion—to address the needs of the international community in the context of rising issu ...

Writer: Christine Williams
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2024-05-05
GCC-Latin America Trade and Investment Relations

The relationship between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Latin America, encompassing 41 countries and territories from Mexico to Argentina and including the Ca ...

Writer: Hannan Alghamdi
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2024-05-05
Europe’s Toughened Stance on Migration

On April 10, 2024, the European Parliament passed the EU’s new Pact on Asylum and Migration, the first major reform to the entrance procedures for migrants and asylum seekers a ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch and Houda Barroug
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2024-04-28
Iran and Russia Align to Build a New Order

Since the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia and Iran have maintained an ambivalent relationship. Their cooperation over the years has covered ...

Writer: Emil Avdaliani
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2024-04-22
Europe and Regional Security in the Gulf

The release of the document entitled “Vision of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Regional Security” in March 2024 represents an important and long overdue addition to the ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch
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2024-04-16
GCC-CIS Relations: Developing Regional Cooperation

The relationship between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is shaped by geopolitical, economic, and strategic interests. Centr ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2024-04-14
GCC-EU Ties are Progressing but Obstacles Remain
Original Piece Published by
(Arab News)

GCC-EU relations are in general on a positive trajectory. The points of contact between the two sides have intensified markedly in recent years at both the governmental and ins ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch
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2024-04-07
Cultural Cooperation: Saudi Arabia and China

As the Kingdom’s cultural scene continues to expand, the Saudi Ministry of Culture has focused on promoting international exchange and dialogue as part of its strategic goals u ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2024-04-02
GCC-Lithuania Relations

The relationship between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Lithuania can be characterized as being in a state of growth and development. While the GCC states have historic ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2024-03-24
Free and Open: From the Indo-Pacific to the Red Sea and Beyond

In August 2016, the late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy in recognition of a number of serious challenges facing ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2024-03-24
Security of the Red Sea Shipping Corridor:
International Responsibilities and the Role of Japan

The security of the Red Sea shipping corridor is not merely a concern for nations with direct interests in the region but a responsibility that increasingly extends across the ...

Writer: Noriko Suzuki
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2024-03-21
Reflections on the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Rio De Janeiro

The recent G20 meeting in São Paulo, Brazil, convened by Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of member countries on February 28 and 29, tackled pressing global economi ...

Writer: Hannan Alghamdi
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2024-03-20
Towards a Sustainable Ramadan

Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims involves one refraining from food and drink from dawn to dusk, as well as turning their attention to prayer, charity, helpi ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf
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2024-03-17
Russia – Saudi Relations: Two Years Post Ukraine Crisis

February 24, 2024, marked the two year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. With the conflict moving into its third year, stress over the current international order, p ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2024-03-16
Saudi-Iran Reapprochement: One Year On

After the restoration of Saudi-Iranian ties one year ago, on March 10, 2023, through the Chinabrokered rapprochement agreement, the region and the international community have ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2024-03-07
GCC-Latvia Relations

While diplomatic ties between the GCC states and Latvia were established in the 1990s and 2000s, they have not yet been effectively developed. However, the geopolitical changes ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2024-02-25
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Emerging Middle Power in Global Dynamics

Strategic Priorities for Saudi Arabia’s Foreign PolicySaudi Arabia is garnering attention for its increasingly robust foreign policy, which is characterized by the country's em ...

Writer: Dr. Abdulaziz Sager
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2024-02-20
Pressure is Adding Up, Ratings are Going Down:
The US Presidential Elections in the Midst of the Gaza Crisis

On February 7, 2024, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up his fifth visit to the Middle East since the events of October 7th, in an attempt to push forward a propos ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2024-02-18
Instability in the Sahel: An Opportunity for the Arab Gulf States?

In 2011, Mali was considered one of the most successful examples of democracy in Africa, despite experiencing a long-standing governance crisis linked to corruption and transna ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2024-02-14
Europe and Red Sea Security

Recent steps could prove useful for wider EU-GCC collaboration

The 27 EU member states are set to approve plans for a military mission to protect merchant shipping in the Red Sea when EU foreign ministers give their final seal of approval ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch
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2024-02-14
The Gaza Crisis and Japan’s Position

The relationship between Israel and Palestine is deeply rooted in a complex history of territorial disputes and competing national aspirations, embedded with religious signific ...

Writer: Noriko Suzuki
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2024-02-12
Climate Change in the GCC: Security Threats and Opportunities in International Cooperation

Climate change is an emerging global threat. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), human activities have caused an increase in global temperatures ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf
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2024-02-11
ICJ Ruling: Impact and Implications

On January 26, 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gave its provisional ruling in the case filed by South Africa (SA) against Israel, where South Africa brought clai ...

Writer: Christine Williams
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2024-02-01
China’s Regional Diplomacy and Strategy in Light of the Gaza Crisis

Since November 2023, the Houthis have conducted at least 33 attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea that it claims are connected to Israel or headed for Israeli ports. They ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2024-02-01
Brazil's Dual Path: Between its OPEC+ Alliance and its Renewable Energy Leadership.

As an emerging global power, Brazil has historically strived for a leadership role, occasionally entangling itself in tensions with the United States and delicately managing re ...

Writer: Hannan Alghamdi
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2024-01-25
Saudi Arabia-African Summit: the Road Ahead

The Saudi-Africa Summit held in November 2023 reflected the continued commitments the Kingdom has maintained to African countries. 50 African leaders and senior government offi ...

Writer: Michael W. Wilson
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2024-01-24
From Unfulfilled Ambitions to Milestones at COP28- The GCC's Path to Greater Sustainability

Introduction On December 13, 2023, the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) concluded with a historic agreement on transitioning away from fossil f ...

Writer: Mohamed Abdelraouf
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2024-01-21
BRICS & Saudi Arabia’s Membership: What Does This Mean?

The geopolitical landscape of the 21st century is witnessing a potential transformative shift, with emerging powers challenging the dominance of traditional global powers. In t ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2024-01-05
Saudi Arabia Needs to See a New Approach from Washington

Three months after the horrendous events of October 7, the death toll in Gaza continues to mount daily. The humanitarian crisis has been called “unprecedented” and will have la ...

Writer: Dr. Abdulaziz Sager
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2024-01-04
Repeating the Mistakes of the 2003 Iraq Invasion - The Warnings from the GCC and other Middle Eastern states on the Gaza crisis are once again being ignored -

The crisis in Gaza continues unabated. There have already been more than 20,000 deaths–1,200 on the Israeli side and more than 22,000 on the Palestinian side as of January 1, 2 ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch
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2024-01-04
Growing Military-Industrial Capacity in the Gulf: Drivers, Issues and Dominance

Introduction For decades, the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have been well known for their high spending on arms imports, prompted by concerns about Iran’s r ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2024-01-02
Eurasian Powers Are Benefiting from the War in Gaza

The war between Israel and Hamas risks evolving into a larger regional conflict, potentially involving Iran and Hezbollah. More importantly, the ongoing hostilities could have ...

Writer: Emil Avdaliani
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2024-01-01
GCC-Iceland Relations

Relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Iceland remain quite underdeveloped although Iceland, a Nordic Island country, is receiving greater degrees o ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-11-28
GCC-Finland Relations

This paper aims to provide an overview of the diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations between Finland and the GCC member states by exploring the historical context, curren ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-12-17
COP 28: Amid Achievements, Unmet Ambitions and a Push for Stronger Action

Attended by more than 97,000 participants, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai came to an end on December 13, 2023. The two-week international cl ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf and YU Ruizi
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2023-12-12
Developing Cooperation between the GCC and ASEAN

In an era characterized by globalization and interconnectivity, regional partnerships have emerged as pivotal drivers of economic growth, political stability, and cultural exch ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2023-12-05
Javier Milei's Presidency: Navigating Ideological Shifts and Global Realignment in Argentina

Javier Milei's recent election as Argentina's president signifies a profound shift in the nation's political landscape. As the leader of the ultraliberal "La Libertad Avanza" c ...

Writer: Hannan Alghamdi
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2023-11-30
A Breakthrough Deal for the Loss and Damage Fund at COP28

In 2022, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) reached a historic decision to establish a Loss and Damage Fund (LDF). According to the United Nations Environment ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf and YU Ruizi
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2023-11-27
Recent Developments between Afghanistan and the GCC States

The Doha Agreement of 2020 was the result of Qatar-mediated negotiations between the United States and leaders of the Taliban. It led to an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. ...

Writer: Christine Williams
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2023-11-21
The Effect of the Gaps between North and South on the Crisis in Gaza

Outside of most of the Western world, the international community is largely unified in its call for a ceasefire and an end to military operations as far as the current violenc ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-11-20
What Europe Expects from COP28

The EU’s general negotiating position for the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), set to take place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023, was publis ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2023-11-20
GCC-Estonia Relations

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the GCC countries and Estonia dates back to the early 1990s, following Estonia’s independence from the Soviet Union. Since the ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-11-07
Environmental Impacts of the Current War in Gaza

Destruction in Gaza, October 2023 Source: ABC News One overlooked issue in the current crisis in the Gaza Strip is its devastating environmental toll. The cost and impact of t ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf and YU Ruizi
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2023-11-07
The GCC States and Indonesia: Toward New Horizons

UAE President H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the signing of the UAE-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, Jul ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2023-11-04
The End of Nagorno-Karabakh and the New Power Balance in the Caucasus

Nagorno-Karabakh, September 2023 Source: Arab News The sudden military operation by Azerbaijan on September 19, 2023, led to the surrender of the truncated Nagorno-Karabakh e ...

Writer: Dr. Emil Avdaliani
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2023-11-02
Countdown to COP28: What do the GCC countries expect?

MENA Climate Week in Riyadh, October 2023 Source: Al Arabiya The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) will take place from November 30 to December 12, 2023, ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf and YU Ruizi
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2023-10-19
Saudi Green Initiatives and their Role in Achieving Environmental Goals in the Middle East

1. IntroductionThe Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change. Its air and ecosystems are subjected to desertificatio ...

Writer: Dr. Mohamed Abdelraouf,Asuka Nagasawa
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2023-10-18
The US and Europe Must be More Balanced to Diffuse Middle Eastern Tensions

Destruction in Gaza, October 2023, Source: CNN Just one month ago, there was hope for peace in Palestine through the Saudi-US-Israel talks. In his recent interview with Fox N ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch and Amnah Mosly
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2023-10-13
Takeaways from the 2023 G20 Summit

On September 9 and 10, 2023, the 18th G20 Summit was held in New Delhi, hosted by India as holder of the G20 Presidency. The 2023 G20 Summit marked a critical juncture in globa ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-10-11
GCC-Denmark Relations

Relations between Denmark and the GCC countries have existed for some time. Though tested at times, particularly following the Cartoon Controversy, Denmark has stated that it ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-09-20
The Case for Establishing a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Gulf

During a period of renewed diplomacy between the US and Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme, wider concerns about nuclear proliferation, nuclear safety, security risks li ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2023-09-14
The Future of Hydrogen in the GCC Countries

IntroductionGreen hydrogen is rapidly emerging as a key player in the global drive towards decarbonization, presenting an advantageous opportunity for GCC countries thanks to ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf and Asuka Nagasawa
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2023-09-14
It’s Not Sportswashing, It’s Just Sports

In April 2016, Saudi Arabia launched its Vision 2030 not only to diversify its economy away fromoil but also to implement changes that would enhance its citizens’ and residents ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-09-11
Saudi Arabia’s Efforts to Promote Dialogue on Ukraine

Saudi Arabia’s growing role in international diplomacy was again highlighted after the Kingdom hosted the Ukraine peace talks among senior officials from around 40 countries in ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-09-11
UAE – Brazilian Relations in Expansion Mode

The announcement in late August 2023 that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among the six nations joining an expanded Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Afric ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2023-08-29
GCC-Iran Environmental Relations: Challenges and Opportunities

Iran and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states face several shared environmental challenges. These include primarily 1) climate change 2) water scarcity 3) dust storms 4) biodi ...

Writer: Dr. Mohamed Abdelraouf
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2023-08-10
Key Issues on the Negotiating Table for COP28 in the UAE Presidency

COP28 will be held between November 30 and December 12, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, this year’s COP serves as a midway ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf and Asuka Nagasawa
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2023-08-01
Saudi Arabia’s Growing Role in Diplomacy

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Türkiye’s President in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 2023 Source: Arab News In July 2023, the Gulf Research Center published its Annual Strategic ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-07-31
Saudi-Canada Relations: Restoration of Ties

IntroductionIn recent months, Saudi Arabia has taken significant steps to push for the security, stability, and economic prosperity of the Arab region: the Kingdom instigated m ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-07-24
GCC-NB8 Relations

The Gulf Research Center (GRC) established a dedicated research program on relations between the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which include Saudi Arabia ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-07-18
Frustration at Bonn COP 28 Preparatory Talks

Source: UNFCCC Flickr AC https://www.flickr.com/photos/unfccc/52954798526/in/album-72177720308836911/ Ahead of COP28, the preparatory talks in Bonn (5-15 June 2023) were a “ch ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf
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2023-07-18
Global Reactions to the Desecration of Copies of the Holy Quran in Sweden

Image from Arab NewsIn recent weeks, a Danish far-right politician and Iraqi exile in Sweden have burned copies of the Holy Quran in both Denmark and Sweden at numerous events ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-07-02
Gulf Diplomacy is Forging Ahead

Gulf diplomacy was on full display during the week of June 16 to 23. While Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan paid the Kingdom’s first visit to Tehran since 200 ...

Writer: Christian Koch
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2023-06-20
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal bin Farhan’s Visit to Tehran: What This Means for Regional Diplomacy

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan arrived in Tehran on Saturday, June 17, 2023, marking the first visit of a Saudi official to Iran in y ...

Writer: Dr. Abdulaziz Sager
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2023-06-14
What Does a Third Erdoğan Presidency Herald for the GCC States?

Votes have been counted in Turkey’s 2023 presidential election run-off between the incumbent President Erdoğan, under the banner of the AKP (Justice and Development Party), a ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2023-06-13
Antony Blinken’s Visit and its Significance in Mending Ties with the Region

While the decades-long strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US has hit a few bumps recently, bilateral ties appear to be back on track, with the US putting in t ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-06-05
Circular Economy in the GCC: Status, Challenges, and Opportunities

GLOBAL CIRCULAR ECONOMY SCENARIOCircular economy (CE) is recognized globally as a new model of economic development based on more efficient utilization of resources across th ...

Writer: Azhan Hasan
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2023-05-23
Arab League Summit and the Importance of Saudi Arabia’s Presence in Regional and International Order: ‘A Time for Renewal and Change’

Arab leaders and officials met in Jeddah as Saudi Arabia hosted the 32nd Arab League Summit on May 19, 2023, where for the first time in more than a decade, representatives o ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2023-05-22
Environment, Security, and Peacebuilding in the West Asia Region

IntroductionThe majority of West Asian countries are characterized by extreme arid climates, sparse natural vegetation, and fragile soil conditions. The region comprises main ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf
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2023-04-27
Invest in Our Planet

Every year on April 22 the world demonstrates support for the environment by observing Earth Day. It is one of the main international environmental occasions that is aimed a ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf
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2023-04-11
From the “Grey Zone” to the End Zone: GCC State Influence and Prospects for Syria’s Reintegration into the Arab World

IntroductionSyria has spent more than a decade under U.S.-led sanctions and yet there  is a growing realization that the United States and Arab Gulf states’ policies aimed ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2023-04-11
Gulf Women in the Workforce

IntroductionIn response to the changing geopolitical landscape, the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have each launched their own version of a long-term national v ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-03-12
A Win for Regional Diplomacy Saudi-Iran relations have taken an important step, although only a small and initial one

(Source: China Daily/Reuters, 2023)The announcement of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran on Marc ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch
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2023-03-02
The GCC’s 2023 Economic Agenda

Saadia Zahidi, managing director of the World Economic Forum (WEF), recently stated that “the short-term risk landscape is dominated by energy, food, debt, and disasters.” What ...

Writer: Abdullah Almutabagani
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2023-02-23
Football as a Key Component in Saudi Arabia’s Sports Strategy

At the 33rd Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress held in Manama, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia was confirmed as the host of the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, which is widely regarded as ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-01-22
Prospects for Saudi-Brazil Relations Under President Lula

On October 2, 2022, Brazil held the first round of its general elections, in which no candidate received more than half of the valid votes. As a result, a second round was he ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2023-01-19
Sustaining Gulf National Security in Light of the Ukraine Crisis

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 grabbed the world's attention and led to a reexamination of global security arrangements. The Gulf region found itself expose ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2023-01-15
Nuclear Issues Emanating from the War in Ukraine and their Relevance to Gulf Security

Introduction The war in Ukraine, which began on 24 February 2022 with a full-scale Russian attack on multiple Ukrainian cities, labelled a “special operation” by the Kre ...

Writer: Robert Mason
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2023-01-12
Energy Outlook in Japan and Implications for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia and Japan enjoy a strong relationship and have supported each other through many tumultuous developments since they established diplomatic relations in 1955. Th ...

Writer: Shahad Turkistani
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2023-01-10
Enhancing Cooperation on Maritime Security in the Gulf

The attack on the oil tanker Pacific Zircon off the coast of Oman in November 2022 once again highlighted the precarious situation of maritime security around the waters of the ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-12-25
The Economic Developments of the Arab – China Summit

After a volatile year in 2022, many countries have begun safeguarding or restructuring their economic and energy policies. For Saudi Arabia, this has also meant continuing to ...

Writer: Abdullah Almutabagani
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2022-12-25
The Ukraine War and Europe’s Energy Crisis: An Opportunity for GCC Energy Producers

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can be characterized as a punctuated end to Pax Europaea. As a result, European countries find themselves in the middle of what German Chancello ...

Writer: Abdullah Almutabagani
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2022-12-25
Strength in Numbers: International Reactions to Criticisms of the Qatar World Cup

Introduction Qatar has been at the forefront of media in recent months over the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The first Arab country to host a World Cup has been cri ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-12-20
President Xi Jinping’s Visit to the Kingdom: What does this Entail Moving Forward?

President Xi Jinping just concluded his first visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in six years, at the China-Arab Summit in Riyadh. As part of efforts to boost China's relat ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2022-11-30
COP27: Loss and Damage Fund – A Major Victory

The 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) concluded on Sunday morning in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The annual climate talks brought together more than 40,000 pa ...

Writer: Dr. Mohammed Raouf
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2022-11-06
Saudi Sports: Regional and International Positioning

IntroductionOver the past few years, sports has been at the forefront of politics. Under Saudi Vision 2030, sports is identified as one of the critical pillars of the Quality ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-10-25
US-Saudi Relations: Oil & Energy

Energy has been at the forefront of the decades-long relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Their close cooperation and engagement on energy and energy-rela ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-10-24
GCC / Saudi Arabia’s Evolving Relationship with Japan on Energy Security

Much of the stability of Japan's national energy supplies depends on continuous oil trading between Japan and the Gulf States. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and ...

Writer: Noriko Suzuki
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2022-10-23
The Qatar World Cup

Qatar has effectively been using sports to bring about positive change at different levels domestically and regionally. Currently, Qatar is ranked among the top 20 countries ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-10-18
Saudi Arabia Developing a Partnership with China

2020 marked the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and China. Over the past three decades, the bilateral relationship between the two countries has ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2022-10-12
Education in the GCC: Developments and Trends

Overview and IntroductionThe Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), was established on May 25, 1981, in Abu Dh ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-09-22
Saudi-German Cooperation is Essential for Middle East Security

Germany and Europe are re-discovering the importance of the Gulf region. This is not solely because of the Russian attack on Ukraine, which has confronted Europe with a war o ...

Writer: Dr. Abdulaziz Sager
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2022-08-22
Jeddah Security and Development Summit Boosts US-GCC Strategic Relations

Image from Saudi Gazette Following several years of ups and downs in the relationship between Riyadh and Washington, President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-07-18
A National Transformation: Saudi Arabia and the Vision 2030 Reform Agenda

IntroductionSaudi Arabia is currently undergoing a massive socio-economic transformation at a rapid pace. This process of economic, legal, and social reforms began with the ...

Writer: Layal Niazy
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2022-07-18
Contours of Saudi Arabia’s Shifting Regional Policy

IntroductionAs the world’s largest exporter of crude oil and an undeniable financial powerhouse, Saudi Arabia maintains an important position within the Arab world (US Energy ...

Writer: Layal Niazy
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2022-07-05
Sports Diplomacy in the GCC

IntroductionWhile the concept of sports diplomacy is nothing new, the research of sports as a tool of soft power both in the Gulf states and internationally remains exceeding ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-06-30
FSO Safer: A ticking time bomb or a beacon of hope for international community

IntroductionYemen continues to face several structural challenges on a humanitarian, security, and economic level. Several interlinked factors have added to the complexity of ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2022-06-16
Thaw in Saudi-Iran ties and the way forward

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran have been characterized by perennial tensions that have shaped the recent history of the Middle East.The rivalry between these two countrie ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2022-06-15
Tumultuous yet Promising: The Evolution of GCC-Iraq Relations

Iraq’s relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has been tumultuous over the past decades, marked by highs and lows. Several factors such as the Iraqi ...

Writer: Layal Niazy
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2022-06-13
U.S.-GCC Changing Energy Relations

Energy has been a cornerstone of the decades-long relationship between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the United States. Over this period, the US assisted in ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-06-02
GCC Women in Sports

Within the last decade, women in the GCC states emerged as significant athletes, taking prominent strides across sporting arenas, both regionally and internationally. The 201 ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-06-07
EU-GCC Relations: Turning a New Page?

The year 2022 has so far witnessed positive developments as far as the relations between the European Union ( and the Gulf Cooperation Council ( is concerned. In January, GCC S ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch
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2022-04-12
Assessment of Saudi Policy in the Horn of Africa

Saudi Arabia has historically maintained positive bilateral relations across the African continent and continues to enjoy political/economic relations across the Sub-S ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2022-04-11
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Policies

The U.S.-Saudi relationship is currently undergoing a mutual “recalibration” process. From Saudi Arabia’s perspective, there continues to be increased wariness and doubts abo ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-02-23
Providing Maritime Security in the Gulf Region

The Gulf Research Center (GRC) held a webinar focused on the fragile security environment in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, and the Southern Red Sea. Dr. Chris ...

Writer: Webinar Summary
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2022-03-17
The Crisis of Ukraine in the Gulf: Security, Economic, and Energy Repercussions

The war in Ukraine has been going on for almost three weeks, and its effects have been felt worldwide. For the Middle East and the Gulf, the conflict comes at a time when the ...

Writer: GRC
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2022-03-15
The Role of Think Tanks in Public Policy: The Case of the Gulf WMD Free Zone Project

Conceptualising the ideaThink Tanks play an important role in taking a step back and looking at a problem from a variety of angles. A major part of our work at the Gulf Researc ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch,Ghassan Shams,Layla Ali
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2022-03-01
Prospects of Saudi led mediation efforts towards the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

On February 20th 2022, Africa’s largest Dam project, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) began generating electricity for Ethiopia at a current operational capacity of 3 ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2022-02-16
U.S.-Saudi Relations: Recalibrations

U.S.-Saudi relations are currently undergoing a fundamental re-evaluation, which has implications for the broader strategic orientation of both countries when it comes to the ...

Writer: Amnah Mosly
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2022-02-03
GCC-China Relations and the Visit of the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain to China

The five-day visit in January 2022 of the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain, as well as the GCC Secretary General to China was unprecedented in na ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2022-02-01
Green Mobility in the GCC: Challenges and Opportunities 28

Webinar Summary On January 12, 2022, the Gulf Research Center held a webinar discussion on the topic of “Green Mobility in the GCC: Opportunities and Challenges.” The o ...

Writer: GRC
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2022-01-18
To Overcome the Flaws of the JCPOA, a Gulf WMD Free Zone should be pursued

Current efforts to bring back to life the Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action (JCPOA) in Vienna are clouded in uncertainty. The current drawn-out negotiation process alongsid ...

Writer: Mustafa Alani and Christian Koch
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2022-01-13
Saudi-Iranian Relations: Regional Implications

Saudi Arabia continues to view Iran as its main strategic challenge in the region. This applies both to the bilateral relationship and the wider Middle East regional theatre wh ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2022-01-13
Saudi Arabia: Women and Youth Empowerment

Over the last five years, the Saudi government has installed a range of reform initiatives under the Vision 2030 plan to develop a sustainable diverse economy by leveraging the ...

Writer: Kinda Bakr
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2022-01-10
Summary of GRC online webinar “From Glasgow COP 26 to Abu Dhabi COP 28” Dec 15, 2021 04:00 PM Riyadh

The focus on the webinar was on the main outcome of the Climate talks in Glasgow in November 2021 and its implications for the next two COP Meetings which will in fact be held ...

Writer: GRC
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2021-12-01
Ukraine-Saudi Arabia Relations: Challenges and Prospects For Further Cooperation Joint paper - ADASTRA and The Gulf Research Center Iryna Zaporizka (Researcher) and Kinda A. Bakr ( Researcher)

Ukraine-Saudi Arabia Relations: Challenges and Prospects for Further CooperationUkraine and Saudi Arabia share friendly relations that have been developing since 1991 whe ...

Writer: Iryna Zaporizka, Kinda Bakr
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2021-06-01
Saudi Arabia’s Stance on the Gaza Crisis

Ever since the Arab Spring, it became clear that the primary battleground in the region is not between Arabs and Israel but between regimes and their people, or more so betwe ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2021-06-01
40th Anniversary of the Gulf Cooperation Council

In May 2021, the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) celebrate the 40th anniversary since its establishment. Throughout the decades, the governments of the GCC ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2021-06-01
Sudan: Initial Steps to Recovery

On May 17,2021, France held a conference of Heads of State and Government in Paris, chaired by Emmanuel Macron, in support of Sudan’s democratic transition. The conference i ...

Writer: Kinda Bakr
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2020-05-04
Saudi Arabia - India: Strategic Partnership

1.    Introduction SaudiArabia and India share friendly relations reflecting historical economic and socio-cultural ties. Diplomatic ties were initially est ...

Writer: Kinda Bakr
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2021-12-04
Green Gulf Report and the Saudi Green Initiative

Climate change poses many significant threats to the security and stability of not just any particular region (though some are at a more immediate risk than others) but to th ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2021-04-07
Saudi Arabia - Georgia: Realities and Opportunities

Given the territorial proximity, the regional actors of the Middle East have always been interested in Georgia and the South Caucasus as an opening route to Europe. Since th ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2021-04-06
Challenges and Opportunities: Saudi-Russian Relations

Saudi-Russian relations date back to 1932 when the former USSR became one of the first countries that formally recognized and established diplomatic relations with Saudi Arab ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2021-02-01
Back to the Ottoman future. The Framing of Turkish Foreign Policy in the Saudi Media

With the informal boycott of Turkish products and business ties in October 2020, Saudi-Turkish relations are taking another hit, causing economic damage in Turkey and leavin ...

Writer: Bruno Schmidt-Feuerheerd
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2021-01-27
Prospects for EU-US-GCC Trilateral Cooperation to Counter Iranian Threats

On the 21st of January 2021, world leaders welcomed the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Joseph Biden. The period between the election results and the ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2020-12-02
Opportunities and Challenges for Saudi-European Relations

Relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Europe in 2020 continue to be marked by difficulties from both sides. For Europe, Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the ...

Writer: Christian Koch
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2020-11-24
Focus on a GCC Case Study: How Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 can Drive “Lifelong Learning” towards Creating a Knowledge Economy in the Post-COVID Era

A focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a case study amongst the Gulf countries underlines how it has come a long way in the past century – the United Nations in 2010 recog ...

Writer: Dr. Asma Siddiki
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2020-11-16
The U.S. Presidential Election and the Impact of a Biden Administration on U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Introduction The significance of the U.S. election on a global level cannot be understated as the U.S. alone controls approximately 25% of world GDP, retains the ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2020-11-08
Design for Hybrid Threats – Be Purposeful and Fast

Imagine that your country has an opponent or even a friend who does not fully agree with the established policies of your government. He is technologically well-positioned a ...

Writer: Walter L. Christman and Ralph Thiele
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2020-11-03
GRC Economic Webinar Summary: “The Future of the Gulf Economies in the Age of Sparsity”

On October 28, 2020, the Gulf Research Center invited a group of six distinguished panelists to participate in a digital roundtable discussion to address the issue of the fut ...

Writer: Dr. John Sfakianakis
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2020-11-01
T20 2020 Journey

In mid-2019 the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) and the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) were appointed co-hosts of ...

Writer: Dr. Fahad M. Alturki
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2020-10-29
Diplomacy in the time of the coronavirus pandemic

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has affected diplomatic operations across the world. More focus has been shifted to the diplomatic management of the Covid-19 crisis. F ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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2020-10-20
US-Saudi Relations and the Visit of Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Washington D.C

Background:On October 14, 2020, the Saudi Foreign Minister visited the United States to launch the two nations' strategic dialogue, which serves to strengthen the long-stand ...

Writer: Ghassan Shams
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2020-10-05
Stepping away from the brink in the Eastern Mediterranean

Europeans face a conundrum in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean. On the one hand, they are called on to respond to what they view as Turkey’s violations of international l ...

Writer: Dr. Nathalie Tocci
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2020-10-04
GRC Energy Webinar Summary: “Should GCC national oil companies target net zero emissions by 2050?”

On September 28, 2020, the Gulf Research Center invited a group of nine renowned energy experts from seven different countries to participate in a webinar with the goal of an ...

Writer: Prof. Giacomo Luciani
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2020-09-22
The German UN Security Council Presidency: Implications for the Gulf Region

On June 8, 2018, Germany was elected as a member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2019-2020 period. During this two-year term, Germany also held the Presidency ...

Writer: Dr. Christian Koch
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2020-09-14
Establish Geographic Inclusivity in the Security Council

The United Nations continues to champion multilateralism. Yet because the future of the multilateral order stands in jeopardy in the wake of criticism that international orga ...

Writer: Dr. Abdulaziz Sager
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2020-09-05
Safer: An Environmental Bomb off Yemen's Coast

The 45-year-old Safer Floating Tank, which is a neglected floating oil storage vessel loaded with approximately 1.1 million barrels of crude oil is anchored about 60km north ...

Writer: Dr. Mohamed Abdelraouf
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2020-09-03
The US-China Battle for Influence in Global Multilateral Organizations: What the Recent WHO Clash Means for the Upcoming G20 Summit and the Future of Multilateralism

The outset of COVID-19 and its impact on the G20 processAs one of its primary responsibilities upon assuming the Group of 20 (G20) presidency in December 2019, Saudi Arabia ...

Writer: Aileen Byrne
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2020-09-02
Russian-Chinese Security Architecture in the Gulf: Role of China, Russia & Iran in the Gulf

As an alternative to the U.S. security umbrella, China envisages a broadening of security arrangements in the Gulf region with the backing of Russia, based on a collective s ...

Writer: Layla Ali
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