“The spirit of our endeavour is, To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”

Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, President

The Arab Geopolitics series of conferences was launched in 2011, inspired by the ambition of creating a forum that would gather together experts, decision-makers, policy advisors and influencers from and related to the Arab World. These events – held in Rome on an annual basis – wish to promote the Atlantic culture and the spirit behind the Mediterranean Dialogue and the NATO-Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. To know more, visit our dedicated webpage.

The focus on the Arab Region is a fundamental priority for NATO but it will be differently articulated by major actors and it clearly cannot be devised in the old, heavy and long-term modalities of the past. The Foundation has treated this subject under different angles already eight times in ten years of activity, precisely due its paramount relevance. At the same time a remote warfare is being carried out across the Sahel against terrorist, guerrilla, illegal trafficking and criminal groups that are heavily destabilising the countries of the area: its outcome is far from clear.
The region has witnessed a normalisation between some Gulf Cooperation Council states and Israel, but all its major conflicts are still open or lingering in fragile cease-fires (Syria, Libya, Yemen, North Sahara-Sahel), while some states are seriously destabilised and the Iranian issue is still open with rather complicated prospects to restart the JCPOA.
A fierce regional competition is still ongoing with very uncertain outcomes: an instability from which major powers (e.g., Russia and China) may gain direct and indirect influence on post-war reconstruction and energy networks, while geopolitical posturing on vaccines is exploiting social and political weak spots.
NATO is already engaged in the Mediterranean and in Iraq, has closed its engagement in Afghanistan and is mediating among allies but clearly this is below what is needed to preserve a 360-degree security, even more if the US involvement will continue to diminish. The civil war in Libya has shown some visible disagreements among major allies with tangible political and strategic consequences.
The conference will be in-person and articulated into two sessions.
The first session will evaluate with a fresh look the changing directions in the region between continuing fragmentation and new pacification trends in the Gulf and with Israel, whose government promises overcome old stalemates. Different alignments among the USA, EU, Russia and China are part of a picture where the Alliance needs to shape and adapt while supporting the countries concerned in the region.

Spacing out the two panel discussions, a dynamic debate, interview style, dedicated to the pivotal issue of energy and energy transition in the region. All moderated by a distinguished anchorperson.
The second panel will squarely consider the actual battle for what the Foundation calls “Deep Maghreb”, i.e., the continuum that links the Maghreb countries of the Mediterranean with the sand sea of Sahel across several trafficking routes controlled by organised crime and other non-state actors. What resources, forces and strategies should be employed to avoid a major regional collapse whose epicentre is Libya and whose reverberations affect the African Hinterland?



21st of October 2021 (from 2.30 PM CET)

Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa
Via Gerolamo Frescobaldi, 5, 00198 Roma



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