“The spirit of our endeavour is, To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”
Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, President
Arab Geopolitics after the Caliphate
How to exit the fragmentation trap
Arab Geopolitics after the Caliphate. How to exit the fragmentation trap Rome – October 9, 2019
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 territorial defeat of the Caliphate has ended a major subversive factor in the Arab region, but the geopolitics of the area is still largely affected by internal and international fragmentation. The political turmoil in turn favours the further entrenchment of a grey zone of instability across the Mediterranean, the Sahel, the Levant and the Gulf, where the flow of arms, drugs, smuggled wares and migrants fuels multiple low and medium intensity internal conflicts often characterised by proxy interference.
Syria is still at the epicentre of strong regional divisions and competitions. Libya, the other ongoing civil war, is in an even worse predicament. The security repercussions are direct on Egypt and Tunisia, indirect on the whole Maghreb and Sahel and felt also on the northern side of the Mediterranean.
Yemen appears to be forgotten, but it is a festering conflict destabilising at the same time the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, due to the risks posed to the freedom of navigation through the Bab el-Mandeb choke point, and the circulation of terrorist fighters and traffickers in the area. Energy security looms persistently as a crucial issue for the area and its global customers.
All these and other issues will be discussed in-depth through the three sessions of the conference.
The first session will address the geopolitical turmoil affecting the region with the aim to define the role of external actors and the engagement of the international community to help the region exit its fragmentation.
The second one will focus on energy as a key element of the economy towards the achievement of regional reconstruction and sustainable development.
The third session will explore the new security environment in the Maghreb and in the Sahel, increasingly insecure due to organised crime, smuggling, terrorism and illegal migrations.