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Center for the Middle East News

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:
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:
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:
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.

What’s next for Oman following Sultan Qaboos’ death?
Oman's new sultan, Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, will endeavor to stamp his own imprint on a country that has become synonymous with Qaboos, writes fellow Kristian Coates Ulrichsen. Al-Monitor:
Jan. 11, 2020, 6:37 p.m.

In the Middle East, 'first, do no harm"
Recent developments in the Middle East have created new opportunities for diplomacy, says Baker Institute director Edward P. Djerejian in an interview with Al-Monitor:
Dec. 1, 2019, 4:36 p.m.

Trump dismantling system for resettling refugees
Kelsey Norman, director of the Women's Rights, Human Rights and Refugees Program, is interviewed about the impact of the Trump administration's decision to lower the number of refugees allowed into the U.S.
Nov. 24, 2019, 5:49 p.m.