ROME MED 2021

MED Panels

03 Dec 2021
11:30 - 13:00  CET
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THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE MENA REGION AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN ENGAGEMENT

The session will start on 03 Dec 2021 at 11:30  CET
Speakers:
Lorenzo Guerini

Minister of Defence, Italy

James Cleverly

Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa, UK

Stefano Del Col

Head of Mission and Force Commander, UNIFIL

Zhai Jun

Special Envoy on the Middle East, China

Ibrahim Kalın

Spokesperson, Presidency of the Republic of Turkey

John R. Allen

President, The Brookings Institution, USA

Andrey Kortunov

Director, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Russian Federation

Chairs:
Lina Khatib

Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House, UK

Maurizio Molinari

Editor in Chief, La Repubblica

The end of the NATO mission to Afghanistan has determined a significant turning point in Allied as well as Washington’s political and military engagement in Central Asia and the Middle East. In the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Springs, America refocused its resources and engagement abroad, raising questions about the Country’s future engagement in the MENA region and its role as a security provider. This move caused fallout on the regional balance, allowing for the rise of external and regional actors to gain influence and become more directly involved in conflicts and crises throughout the region. While Russia has played mostly the military card since 2015, China has strengthened its economic presence, becoming a key partner for many Countries in the region. Additionally, the global pandemic further provided both Russia and China with the opportunity to enlarge their clout through the so-called “vaccine diplomacy.”  

Overall, a return to diplomacy has gradually emerged across the region. In the context of this global reassessment, as conflict fatigue seems to be prevailing, regional realignments may open new scenarios, including opportunities to defuse tensions and reshape the regional balance with the contribution of both regional and international players. 

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