As a member of the Council of Councils (http://www.cfr.org/councilofcouncils/), the Gulf Research Center participated in the 9th Regional Conference held in Berlin, Germany. The conference was held under the theme of “Regional Security in a Turbulent World” and featured discussions on European Regional Security, Migration Challenges, Terrorism, the U.S. Elections, Implication of BREXIT for the EU and the World, and Populism as a Challenge for Political Stability and Globalization. In addition to taking part in the entire meeting, Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the Gulf Research Center Foundation, also spoke on the session of “Migration as a Challenge for Regional Security.” Both Dr. Koch and Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, Chairman of the GRC, provided short written policy documents to the session of the conference. The Council of Council brings together leading foreign policy institutes from around the world in a common conversation on issues of global governance and multilateral cooperation. The Council of Councils draws on the best thinking from around the world to find common ground on shared threats, build support for innovative ideas, and introduce remedies into the public debate and policymaking processes of member countries. The membership of the Council of Councils includes leading institutions from twenty-five countries, roughly tracking the composition of the Group of Twenty (G20).
Dr. Christian Koch participated and spoke in the conference on "Iranian-Saudi Perspectives on the Post-Oil Economy" held in Leuven, Belgium on October 26 and 27, 2016. The meeting was organized by the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the East-West Institute (EWI) and brought together a number of experts including from Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the GRC Foundation, met with Adnan Tabatabei, CEO of the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) to discuss cooperation and potential project.
He also participated in a discussion with Dr. Ralf Brauskiepe, Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Defense on “Germany’s military-security engagement with the Middle East” held at the German-Arab Friendship Society.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the GRC Foundation, participated in a private discussion with Maj. General Ahmed Assiri, Official Spokesman of the Saudi-led Coalition Forces in Yemen and Special Advisor to the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia held in the offices of the Körber Foundation in Berlin, Germany. The discussion included several members of the German Parliament and the German Foreign Office.
Dr. Koch also attended the National Day Celebration of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the evening at a reception hosted by the Saudi Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Dr. Awwad S. Alawwad.
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.