Middle East and North Africa
The UN should pursue a “free association” option for Western Sahara – a third way that offers a realistic means of fulfilling Sahrawi self-determination
An Iraq that has diverse regional relationships is more likely to be stable and secure, in line with European interests in the Middle East
The EU and the US have a decisive role to play in ensuring the electoral process succeeds. In doing so, they can support Palestinian political renewal and improve prospects for a sustainable peace agreement with Israel.
Instead of using the UAE to push back against Turkey or vice versa, Europe should develop its own strategy on their rivalry
North African countries such as Morocco and Tunisia can help Europe meet its carbon emissions targets and strengthen its position in the face of fierce competition from China
Europeans should provide stabilisation, technical, and diplomatic support to strengthen Libya’s governance and accountability mechanisms to ensure a new government can successfully hold elections in 2021
The arrival of the Biden administration in Washington, and the perception of US disengagement from the region, offers an opportunity for Europeans to help de-escalate tensions between GCC states and Iran
Instead of its rigid focus on the Oslo peace process, the EU should craft a new peacemaking paradigm based on equality and deoccupation
To achieve greater sovereignty, Europe needs to push back against rival powers, build leverage in armed conflicts, and be more effective in supporting reform
European states should now increase conditional engagement with the Houthis, looking to widen political and humanitarian space on the ground
Even if the JCPOA is restored, European companies will hesitate to trade in Iran. European and American officials should work together to give companies the comfort they need.
Raisi’s election victory will not make Iranian politics any less volatile. Instead, it signals another of the cyclical changes in Iran’s politics that have taken place since 1979.
As countries across the Middle East pause to take stock of recent conflicts, Europeans need to do more to support dialogue
ECFR council members call on Europe to push forward a rights-based policy to break the cycle of conflict in Israel-Palestine
Iran’s presidential election will do little to boost frontrunner Ebrahim Raisi’s popular legitimacy
By weaponising migration in Ceuta to advance its Western Sahara claim, Morocco has made several major mistakes. Spain is part of an EU that is not in a joking mood on irregular migration blackmail.
Europe should support the recent Iranian-Saudi talks in Baghdad as an opportunity to help stabilise the Middle East, despite risk of that engagement being derailed
By cancelling Palestine’s first elections in 15 years, President Mahmoud Abbas has relinquished Palestinian democracy and national reunification, and is setting the stage for future turmoil
A one-year extension to the current aid arrangements would be no one’s first choice – but would ensure civilians in Idlib continue to receive help
The Biden administration has boxed itself into a maximalist position that jeopardises efforts to make the Iran sanctions programme more humane. European governments should be pushed to change course.
European governments need a deeper engagement strategy to draw these powerful actors into inclusive political processes and power-sharing structures that can help stabilise the region
The eastern Mediterranean is becoming ever more perilous as geopolitical fault lines steadily enmesh the region. These rifts emerge from the Cyprus ‘frozen conflict’, competition for valuable gas fields, and the increasingly entangled wars in Libya and Syria.
Turmoil in the Middle East and north Africa directly affects Europeans. Yet their influence in the region has never been weaker. This project maps Europe’s role across the Middle East and north Africa, making the case that Europeans can do more to leverage their influence in pursuit of core interests
ECFR’s Differentiation Tracker provides a snapshot of third state relations with Israel – and the extent to which these contain a clearly defined territorial definition that explicitly excludes Israeli settlements constructed on occupied territory in line with UNSCR 2334
Violence is tearing Mali and the Sahel apart. But who are the armed groups behind the bloodshed? Where are international actors stationed in the region? And what motivates them all?
An ECFR guide to the key disputes threatening to spark a wider Middle Eastern war
This interactive web project charts the constellation of political players as Palestinians approach a period of political change. Over 100 pen portraits reveal new insights into the personalities and power structures that will shape the future of Palestinian politics.
In Libya there are very few truly national actors, the vast majority are local players. This guide explains who the players are and what they control.
A multimedia exploration of Yemen's multi-faceted civil war
This series examines the reaction of key Middle Eastern actors, as well as looking at European policy options, the dynamics driving IS itself, and the impact within Syria and Iraq respectively.
ECFR’s New Battlelines Project maps Iran’s coalition of allies, regional influence and the counter-coalition that has formed to oppose them
Powerful argument from Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif – “Security cannot be purchased” – at ECFR's 10th anniversary council meeting.
High-level officials and analysts discuss the challenges facing Tunisia's transition, and the development of the political process in Libya
Nick Grono and Dr. Katharine Jones discuss what role Europe can play in ensuring the protection of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Richard Nephew from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University takes a look at the openings and challenges for Europe and the US
Kadri Liik gives her analysis on Russia's intervention in the Middle East
Iona Craig, Nawal al-Maghafi, and Adam Baron, discuss how Europe can help solve the crisis
Journalist and Sinai researcher Mohannad Sabry explains Egyptian president al-Sisi's approach to the war on terror, and its consequences
Participants of ECFR's MENA Forum discuss how the EU can assist Syria in resolving the crisis
Experts discuss what this means for the international dynamics of the conflict
How can the EU prevent the Turkey-UAE rivalry from destabilising European security and foreign policy?
In the eastern Mediterranean, a scramble is under way between countries in the region for access to recently discovered gas fields, often overlapping with wider…
The ECFR Rome office organized a virtual gathering, moderated by the Head of ECFR Rome Arturo Varvelli, to present the ECFR publication “A Gulf…