Middle East and North Africa

Given the rapid developments, tectonic transitions and transformations in the MENA region, preemptive and anticipatory dialogue between the major stakeholders is paramount, with the aim of addressing mutual perceptions and fears, developing mutual, innovative ideas for conflict prevention, -management and -resolution.   

The MENA Program will convene confidential meetings between regional rivals on the geo-political and geo-economic impacts of climate change, media and sectarianism, obstacles to employment and education, maritime security and preventing unintended maritime encounters in the Gulf region. Furthermore, this program aims to improve relations between Iraq and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) by holding strategic dialogues between experts from GCC and Iraq about issues of common concern and interest.

A successful post-ISIS reconstruction of Iraq requires a holistic approach that addresses root causes of radicalization and lessons learned from post-2003 reconstruction efforts. To this end, we will bring together Iraqi stakeholders, international donors and experts to engage in an action-focused dialogue that would do justice to complexities on the ground, develop a common vision and a comprehensive roadmap to recovery. MENA Program provides thought leadership to the Atlantic Council’s Task Force on the Future of Iraq. This task force brings together 25 top Iraq experts from around the globe and is finalizing their policy recommendations for the US President Trump on how to deal effectively with the challenges posed by the conflict in Iraq. The EWI MENA Program conducted confidential discussions on gaps in international policy on stemming ISIS financing, produced concrete policy recommendations that were shared with influential actors and government officials in the EU, U.S. and Middle East.

EWI also convened Track 2 consultations between regional geopolitical rivals on the following topics: the growing plight of refugees in the region; strategies to reach a ceasefire and transitional process in Syria and Yemen; measures to strengthen the central governments in Iraq and Afghanistan; and contributions of major powers to the most urgent humanitarian grievances. The dialogues also addressed future challenges to energy markets, economic cooperation and “post-oil” scenarios for the Gulf region. EWI held exchanges on the future of Iraq and Syria in a post-ISIS regional order, featuring experts from the region, Europe, Russia and the U.S. EWI has communicated findings from its dialogues through numerous visits to relevant capitals in the Gulf, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and the EU.

  • EWI Now: The Middle East and North Africa Program is credited for providing a platform and safe environment for experts from the region and beyond to engage in confidential, complex and constructive dialogues on the multiple crises threatening the region and the globe: the rise of violent extremism, ISIS and post-ISIS problems, the refugee crisis, energy security, future environmental cooperation, maritime security, and post-conflict reconstruction of Iraq.
  • EWI Impact: The Middle East and North Africa Program provided thought leadership to the Atlantic Council’s Task Force on the Future of Iraq. This task force brings together 25 top Iraq experts from around the globe and is finalizing their policy recommendations for the U.S. President Trump on how to deal effectively with the challenges posed by the conflict in Iraq.