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Center for the Middle East News

Hafiz al-Assad and the Elusive Quest for Syrian-Israeli Peace
Baker Institute Director Edward Djerejian recently discussed his experiences as the U.S. Ambassador to Syria (1988-1991, and the prospects today for an Israeli-Syrian peace agreement, in a podcast for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. His segment starts at the 6:15 mark.
Oct. 15, 2020, 9:56 a.m.

Crown prince becomes Kuwait’s new ruling emir
Sheikh Nawaf “is seen by many in Kuwait as an uncontroversial choice as emir, albeit probably serving only a short term considering his age,” Middle East fellow Kristian Coates Ulrichsen said of the oil-rich nation's new ruling emir
Oct. 1, 2020, 12:10 a.m.

Gulf remains locked in Qatar feud
"Much of the animosity that generated the blockade in 2017 originated in Abu Dhabi more than in Riyadh, and ... the rift can only fully end when the leadership in the UAE is ready to move on," said Middle East Fellow Kristian Coates Ulrichsen.
July 16, 2020, 12:18 p.m.

Vision 2030: Can Saudi Arabia afford it?
The double blows of Covid-19 and an oil price crash have thrown Saudi Arabia's social and economic reforms into doubt. “I can’t imagine Hajj taking place under the current circumstances, and plans for high-end tourism will be derailed by Covid-19, probably for a year or longer,” said Middle East fellow Kristian Coates Ulrichsen. Last year, some 2.6 million pilgrims went on Hajj, with religious tourism generating $12 billion. Read more at the Middle East Eye: https://bit.ly/2NdlloV
June 10, 2020, 6:18 p.m.

Trump's Flawed "Deal of the Century" Awaits Israel's new government
Once the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided, the new Israeli government will face serious flaws in, among other things, the territorial dimensions of President Trump's “Deal of the Century,” writes Middle East fellow Gilead Sher for the Baker Institute blog.
April 13, 2020, 3:02 p.m.

Covid-19 invades Saudi inner sanctum
“If it is reaching into the family, then it becomes an urgent issue,” said Middle East fellow Kristian Coates Ulrichsen of the Saudi royal family members believed to have contracted the coronavirus. New York Times: https://nyti.ms/34qk31A
April 10, 2020, 4:53 p.m.

Refugees in Turkey hit hard by Covid-19 restrictions
With international borders closed, governments around the world should allow unemployed migrants to remain in their countries and give them “the option to search for a new job and transfer their visa if and when the spread of the virus has slowed and quarantine measures are lifted," said fellow Kelsey Norman of the impact on migrants and refugees of coronavirus mobility restrictions. Ahval News: https://bit.ly/340U8x9
March 31, 2020, 10:04 a.m.

Electoral disenchantment in Iran
"The low turnout and the conservative victory in the parliamentary elections in Iran indicate intense electoral disenchantment and set the stage for the ascendance of a hard-liner as president," writes fellow Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar.
Feb. 25, 2020, 3:33 p.m.

Implications of Trump’s Mideast Peace Plan
The peace plan revealed on Tuesday cannot succeed without the involvement of the Palestinians, says Ambassador Edward Djerejian. "In the past we had the Israelis and the Palestinians either indirectly or in direct negotiations ... It seems to me [the plan] is more about politics — domestic politics in Israel and maybe even domestic politics in our country where the president is under impeachment and he's coming up to an election, and wants to table this and move on."
Jan. 29, 2020, 8:53 a.m.

Amb. Djerejian on Trump's Mideast peace plan
"If the Trump plan is not based on the fundamental principle of 'land for peace,' then I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere because you cannot deny Palestinian self determination," said Ambassador Edward Djerejian in an interview with Britain's SkyNews. If the plan involves only security, economic or other arrangements, "something short of a territorial compromise that would eventually have an independent Palestinian state living in peace and security next to an independent Israeli state," the plan will not have any traction.
Jan. 15, 2020, 3:17 p.m.