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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically grounded approaches to enduring geopolitical problems

Watch the video of the event.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates through the Abraham Accords, supported by former US president Trump, was soon followed by a whole cascade of embassy openings between Tel Aviv and several other Arab states (Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco).

What does this signify for the international relations of the Gulf more generally? What do the Abraham Accords mean for the states involved directly, as well as for those impacted indirectly such as Iran or Saudi Arabia? What role does the change to a Biden administration as well as new negotiations on the Iran Nuclear Deal play in all this? And could the Abraham Accords be interpreted as the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict in its traditional sense?

To answer these questions, a panel of Middle East experts will discuss the various dimensions of contemporary Israeli-Gulf relations.


John Raine CMG OBE is a Senior Advisor at the International Institute for Strategic Studies IISS. He previously served in the British Foreign Office for 33 years in various positions, including Kuwait, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Sanam Vakil is Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House. She has extensively published on the geopolitics of the Gulf and future trends in Iran’s domestic and foreign policy.

Sebastian Sons is a researcher at the Centre for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and an expert on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. He holds a Ph.D. from the Humboldt University Berlin with a thesis on media discourses on labor migration from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia. He is the author of a 2016 German monograph on the politics of Saudi Arabia entitled “Built on Sand: Saudi Arabia – a problematic ally” (Orig: “Auf Sand gebaut: Saudi Arabien – ein problematischer Verbündeter

Chair: Philipp Hirsch, Centre for Geopolitics, University of Cambridge


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Wednesday, 24 March, 2021 - 18:00 to 19:00
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