Dr. Mustafa Alani and Dr. Christian Koch represented the Gulf Research Center at the 7th annual Conference of the Council of Councils in New York. The Council of Councils is an initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) to help direct high-level international attention and effective policy responses to the foreign policy threats and opportunities defining the twenty-first century. The meeting held in New York featured a discussion with UN Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres, workshop session on global trade, strengthening effective climate change action, migration, monetary policy, the geopolitical implications of new technology, and the challenge from Iran and its global implications. During the conference, the annual Council of Councils Report Card on International Cooperation was also launched. The report as well as more information about the council of council can be found under:
Dr. Christian Koch participated in a discussion with Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, at an event organized and hosted by the Körber Foundation in Berlin, Germany. Amb. de Mistura pointed to a critical period over the coming weeks in Syria based on the US decision on the JCPOA, The opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and the start of Ramadan. The UN envoy stated that while it is clear that only a political solution can ultimately end the conflict, the fact is that at the moment a military solution is in the making. This means that parties will not negotiate until the contours of that solution become visible. The event was attended by policy officials and members of think tanks from the Berlin community.
Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, Chairman of the Gulf Research Center and Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the GRC Foundation, participated in the workshop on “The Emerging Global Role of the Arab Gulf States” organized by the Dubai Public Policy Research Centre (B’huth) in London. Dr. Koch also spoke in the second panel of the meeting on the “Rise of Asia and Russia’s Return.”
Dr. Christian Koch gave a lecture at the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin (MFFB) focused on the Saudi foreign policy and the war in Yemen. Of particular interest in the discussion was the role of Iran in the Yemen conflict and what role Europe should play in trying to move the conflict toward a political solution.
Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Saqer, Chairman of the Gulf Research Center (GRC), spoke at a session entitled "Anarchy: its roots, causes, manifestations and consequences - extremism and terrorism" at the annual Arab Thought Foundation conference "Fikr 16" (the repercussions of chaos and challenges of the stability industry), held during the period 10-11-12 April 2018 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Dubai.
Dr. Christian Koch participated in a roundtable discussion with former Secretary of State John Kerry organized by the Körber Foundation in Berlin. In his remarks, Secretary Kerry focused on the nuclear deal with Iran, the situation in Syria and transatlantic relations. The event was attended by members of the German parliament and members of the Foreign Office as well as think tanks.