Conflict and Fragility

Reports and papers

Europe's options to address conflicts in the MENA region

09 Dec 2020 - 13:21
Bron: Navigating the regional chessboard / Twitter
Navigating the regional chessboard

Clingendael's Erwin van Veen (Senior Research Fellow) and Maysam Behravesh (Research Associate) both contributed a chapter (page 7 and 50) to this MENA Peace & Security Project report, published by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

As 2020 draws to a close, the conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen have been ongoing for nearly a decade. Conflict and political crisis in Iraq have alternated non-stop since 2003. The Middle East also witnesses growing tensions between the Gulf States, Iran and the US, as well as more engagement of Turkish and Russian forces. In contrast, the European Union has often been passive and divided. This has resulted in missed windows of opportunity for conflict prevention, a loss of credibility and growing externalities that reach Europe unfiltered.

This wide-ranging volume by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung offers detailed analysis of conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya in search of options for Europe to help bring them to a close. Powerfully, it brings a rich set of regional, and some international, perspectives together to contribute to smart thinking on what Europe can do.

What is in Yemen for Iran 

Research associate Maysam Behravesh gives a realistic assessment of  Tehran's strategic calculus in the Arabian peninsula. 

A time for principled pragmatism 

In the volume’s analysis of the Syrian conflict, Clingendael’s senior research fellow Erwin van Veen explores possibilities for EU-Russian collaboration, together with Alexey Khlebnikov, on humanitarian aid diplomacy and fighting extremism. Although the EU and Russia are mostly at loggerheads in Syria, the authors seek to deconstruct the current political stalemate in a bid to identify the least controversial issues on which joint initiatives might be possible. In turn, this might lay a foundation for further dialogue. The alternative is ongoing confrontation. 

Read report

Follow @ErwinVeen@MaysamBehravesh & @Clingendaelorg on Twitter