Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The 12th Al Jazeera Forum: Opening Session

The Gulf, the Arabs, and the World Amid Current Developments

On April 28-29, 2018, Al Jazeera held its 12th Forum providing an opportunity for leading scholars and other experts to discuss a variety of topics affecting the Arab world.  The website for the forum, @aljazeeraform, provides additional information and links to the videos of each session.  You can follow the Twitter coverage at #AJForum.

I strongly recommend this event.  I attended all the sessions over two days.  (You will likely see me in some of the video shots.) 

Over several posts, I plan to summarize the presentations made at the conference.  I will be working from my notes, so I apologize in advance if I incorrectly paraphrase the remarks of any speaker.   I was also reliant on the quality of the translation services and their audibility.  Accordingly, I am happy to make any needed edits.

For summaries of the other sessions see:
Opening Session by Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, 
Chairman of the Board of Al Jazeera Media Network:  

The Gulf crisis reflects competition between countries and the intervention of foreign powers into Arab affairs.

The blockade has affected relations between Arab nations:

  • It has damaged the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
  • It has undermined trust in the GCC.
  • Simmering disputes are no longer confined to political leaders, but now affect people of the Gulf.
  • It has created a crisis of confidence among the people of the Gulf.
  • It undermines coordination among countries during a time of great transition in the region.
  • It has created a "deep rift" between GCC countries.
It is ironic that Korean leaders are meeting to resolve long standing tensions, but Gulf leaders are not meeting to resolve the tensions between them.

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