Research Unit

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  • EPC | 20 Oct 2021

    The Challenges Facing UN Mediation in Yemen

    On October 6, 2021, the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, concluded his first visit to the country since taking charge in early September. The visit, held under difficult security conditions and amid dangerous military escalation, showed Grunberg’s resolve to proceed with his mission.

  • EPC | 13 Sep 2021

    Baghdad Conference: Transient Move or a New Regional Framework?

    Iraq sees itself as a neutral and effective point of convergence in its divided regional periphery. The Baghdad conference also raised questions about the future trajectory and whether it was a nucleus for a new regional framework reflecting the reality of the emerging regional power relations or a mere transient moment that political and security shifts in Iraq and the region would overcome.

  • EPC | 08 Sep 2021

    Raisi Government and Iran’s Covid-19 Policy Challenge

    Controlling the Covid-19 pandemic has emerged as the biggest challenge for the new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. He has stressed that his government’s priority is to end the pandemic and that his government would use its total capacity to contain the spread of the virus by providing the financial resources necessary to import large quantities of vaccines and accelerating the pace of vaccination. However, he has not succeeded so far as Iran remains among the region’s lowest-ranked countries in terms of vaccination rate.

  • EPC | 07 Sep 2021

    Morocco Elections 2021: Scenarios, Determinants, and Alliances

    On September 8, 2021, the Moroccan legislative elections will be held to elect the occupants of 395 seats in the House of Representatives through a direct secret ballot. These elections are expected to result in a new government with a busy agenda. It will have to deal with many complex issues, domestic and regional. The significant adverse repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic on Morocco’s public health and the economy would be the biggest challenge. The country’s recurring spats with neighboring countries, Algeria and Spain, have also cast a shadow over the elections. On the other hand, regional instability experienced by the Maghreb countries imposes a problematic reality on Morocco. The future of the political process seems ambiguous in Libya and Tunisia. Furthermore, successive changes in the leadership of Algeria’s military and security establishments and the persistent discontent among large segments of the Algerian youth suggest that the domestic situation there is still far from stable.

  • Ahmed Nadhif | 06 Sep 2021

    Exceptional Measures and the Political Crisis in Tunisia

    Tunisian President Kais Saied issued a presidential order extending the exceptional measures to suspend the Assembly of the Representatives (the Parliament) until further notice and lifted the parliamentary immunity of all its members. This was an extension of the decision Saied made on July 25, 2021, freezing the legislative authority for 30 days. Saied’s latest move ended the period of anticipation that the country and political forces were experiencing. It also triggered speculation over his next steps and those of his opponents in the Islamist Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement party, which has witnessed organizational changes coinciding with the political transformation taking place in the country. This paper examines President Saied’s motives for extending the duration of the exceptional measures and the positions of the political forces. It also sheds light on the transformations experienced by the Ennahda Movement, the President’s strongest opponent, and anticipates the future paths of the political crisis in Tunisia.

  • EPC | 02 Sep 2021

    The Leverages and Pitfalls of Turkey’s Taliban Overtures

    Turkey supported the United States, its NATO ally, in the war it launched in Afghanistan against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in November 2001. After the curtain came down on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in 2014, Turkey again deployed non-combat peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan. Since then, Turkey maintained a non-combat force of 648 soldiers to protect and manage the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. In a meeting between presidents Erdogan and Biden on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels in June, the two governments agreed to hand over the task of protecting and managing the airport to Turkish forces after the US withdrawal on August 31. However, the Taliban’s early and sudden control of Kabul, on August 14, and its insistence on the departure of all foreign forces by the end of August, shattered the Turkish-American arrangement. As a result, Ankara turned to negotiate with the Taliban through Qatar to keep its forces at the airport for protecting and managing it. However, the Taliban rejected this Turkish request and asked it to completely remove its forces from Afghanistan and its airport before discussing any cooperation.

  • EPC | 01 Sep 2021

    Iran’s Foreign Policy Under Ebrahim Raisi: General Directions and New Faces

    The composition of the foreign policy team in the government of new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi indicates that conservatives will have an almost total control over decision-making in Iran. Hossein Amirabdollahian was appointed as foreign minister, Mahdi Safari as deputy foreign minister, while Ali Shamkhani remained as secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council. This paper sheds light on Iran's foreign policy under President Ebrahim Raisi, and the implications of Hossein Amirabdollahian's appointment as foreign minister.

  • EPC | 01 Sep 2021

    China’s Economic Influence in Turkey: Manifestations and Calculations

    Mutual political recognition in 1971 triggered trade deals between China and Turkey. However, due to the geographical distance and the relatively closed Turkish economy, the ties did not develop until 1991. Since then, Turkey has pursued a policy of foreign trade openness not accounting for the trade balance deficit. Since 2001, bilateral trade exchange has been on an upswing. After China joined the World Trade Organization in 2002, Beijing increased its investment in developing countries such as Turkey. Moreover, when China established the Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing in 2013, Chinese investments funded by the bank began to flow directly to Turkey.