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On 21-22 November, under Saudi Arabia's presidency, the G20 will hold its first regular summit in a virtual format. Unavoidably the focus will be on the current crisis, more specifically on protecting lives and livelihoods and restoring growth. Given the crucial role it played in tackling the 2008-2009 financial crisis, hopes are high regarding the G20's potential role in proposing a financial and economic solution to deal with the ongoing downturn. Several major G20 members have invested massive ...

The victory over the so-called Islamic State’s territorial rule presents a chance for the Government of Iraq to rebuild its state institutions and re-assert its authority. In this transition, will the Iraqi leadership move past cycles of failure and address the structural problems that perpetuate state weakness and facilitate the emergence of groups like ISIS? To answer this question, this paper analyses the challenges of short-term stabilisation programming with longer-term governance reform at ...

The EU is Saudi Arabia's first trading partner in goods, with 16.3 % of Saudi Arabia’s global trade, followed by China with 14.1 % and the US with 11.8 %. Saudi Arabia is the EU's 15th trading partner in goods, with an EU market share of 1.5 %. The trade balance is positive for the EU, as this infographic illustrates. Trade between the EU and Saudi Arabia takes place within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia and the United ...

The Gulf States, along with other external players, have raised their profile in the Western Balkans in recent years. While most have set out on an economic quest, Saudi Arabia is considered to have a more ideological approach, seeking a strong role among the region's Muslims. In the 1990s Bosnian war, it provided significant aid for the Muslim cause and has stayed in the region to expand its influence, introducing stricter interpretations of Islam that are gradually taking root there.

Workshop: Sectarianism in the Middle East

Išsami analizė 14-07-2017

Sectarian conflict and polarisation has become a key feature of Middle East politics in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings of 2011. This workshop looked at some of the key drivers of this, such as the troubled legacy of foreign intervention, state failure, regional rivalries between Saudi Arabia, Iran and others, ruling strategies of authoritarian regimes as well as the spread of identity and sect-based political movements. With in-depth analysis of the two key arenas of sectarian conflict in the ...

Qatar: Rising tension in the Gulf

Glaustai 09-06-2017

On 5 June 2017, several Arab nations, including Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), simultaneously announced that they were severing ties with Qatar, a fellow member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Accusing Qatar of supporting and financing 'terrorism and extremism' in the region, the above countries announced that they would halt all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, expel its diplomats and ask Qatari citizens to leave their territory within 14 days. Oil prices ...

The workshop was organized on October 13, 2016 at the initiative of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) with the aim of assessing relations between Saudi Arabia and the Member States in the field of armaments cooperation, touching on the absence of a common European position in this area. Agnès Levallois, lecturer at Sciences Po Paris and ENA, is affiliated to the Académie Diplomatique and works as a consultant, specialising in political, strategic and economic issues in the Middle East ...

The Conflict in Yemen: Latest Developments

Išsami analizė 24-10-2016

The Yemen conflict has deteriorated since 2015 despite repeated rounds of peace negotiations. The most recent round of UN-led Talks ended in August 2016 with no agreement. The conflict is in danger of escalating beyond Yemen’s borders with frequent Houthi incursions into Saudi Arabia, foreign ships being targeted by missiles from Houthi-controlled areas near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait – a major international trade route – and Saudi Arabia and Iran siding with opposite sides in the conflict. The latest ...

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia – two powerhouses and major rivals of the Muslim world – have always been complicated. The 1979 Revolution in Iran, and the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), have contributed to entrenching their historical antagonisms and left an imprint in the foreign policies of both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Since 2011, Tehran and Riyadh have repeatedly exchanged blows, including through their proxies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Iran has also often been accused of interfering in the ...

The 2015 Sakharov Prize

Glaustai 12-10-2015

Established in 1988 by the European Parliament, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded each year in December to individuals or organisations for their outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.