Research Unit


  • Hanin Ghaddar | 10 Oct 2021

    Iran-Hezbollah Nexus and Lebanon’s Economic Crisis

    With Iran sending fuel tankers to energy-starved Lebanon, it might seem that the regime in Tehran has stepped up to help desperate Lebanese people. However, a closer look at the dynamics of distribution within Lebanon clarifies that Hezbollah is selling most of the diesel coming from Iran at a price that is a little cheaper than the Lebanese black market but still much more expensive than the average Lebanese can afford.

  • EPC | 07 Oct 2021

    Can the GCC’s Al-Ula Declaration End Qatar’s Ties with Political Islam Groups?

    In July 2017, the Arab Gulf region entered the most significant period of political and diplomatic turmoil in its recent history, when a coalition of four Arab countries – the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain – cut ties with Doha.

  • EPC | 28 Sep 2021

    The New UN Envoy for Yemen: Approach and Options

    The United Nations Special Envoy’s initial briefing to the Security Council does not usually reflect everything he/she has to offer. However, such interaction provides a glimpse of explicit or implicit ideas and perceptions that usually form the basis of a new approach. This paper analyses the first briefing of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, to the Security Council on September 10, 2021.

  • EPC | 22 Sep 2021

    Understanding the Recent Contours of UAE Foreign Policy

    The UAE has witnessed foreign policy steps recently that many consider as turning points in its approaches to the outside world. The UAE National Security Advisor, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visits to Turkey and Qatar in August has highlighted such a change. These visits represented a sudden breakthrough in the UAE’s relations with both countries, considered tense in recent years. So, what has led to this turning point?

  • Spyridon N. Litsas | 15 Sep 2021

    The Afghanistan Crisis: A Series of Misconceptions

    The chaotic American evacuation of Afghanistan and the by proxy defeat by the Taliban have many consequences for the US status. The fall of Kabul also offers Turkey the opportunity to make its presence in the region noticeable.

  • Suhaib Abdul Rahman | 05 Sep 2021

    Can Turkey Tilt the Balance of Ethiopian Conflicts?

    ​Ethiopia is experiencing rapid and inflamed domestic and external circumstances. Ethnic conflict between its various regions has deepened, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has moved the battle beyond its territory with its fighters penetrating deep into the Afar and Amhara regions. In early August, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed urged all Ethiopians, including civilians, to join the federal forces in pushing the rebels back. Ahmed has also been trying to mobilize regional support for his bid to resolve the armed conflict raging in the country for about 11 months.

  • Malik al-Hafez | 04 Sep 2021

    What Makes the Prosecution of ISIS Fighters in Syria Complex

    Officials in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, the administrative arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)), have reiterated the demand for an independent international tribunal to prosecute ISIS fighters in SDF custody since mid-2019. However, going along this path is fraught with many obstacles and challenges. The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS refuses to push for the formation of such a court, arguing that this is outside the coalition’s mandate. Such a pretext also indicates that Western countries are not serious about taking back fighters belonging to their nationalities.

  • Ebtesam Al Ketbi, Noura Al Breiki, Yoel Guzansky, Shalom Lipner, Jonathan H. Ferziger, Sarah Feuer, Tomer Fadlon, and Ari Heistein | 30 Aug 2021

    Pitching Abraham’s tent: The human dimension of UAE-Israeli normalization

    In the past year, many have written on the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states, focusing on economic interests and emphasizing shared security interests in the region. Case studies, however, indicate that relations between countries are improved when they encompass aspects related to the lives of citizens. Incorporating an element of cultural affinity between countries, a dimension that is far less susceptible to abrupt transformation, can serve as a means to stabilize bilateral relations in the face of unforeseen challenges, shifts in regional dynamics, or changes in leadership.