Several key political trends will shape 2019, panellists at the Arab Strategy Forum said on Wednesday.
Attendees at the annual forum in Dubai heard the year ahead could see an Israeli and Palestinian acceptance of a US Deal of the Century, a more productive dialogue between North Korea and the US, Iran’s willingness to return to the negotiating table, the European Union elections and the fate of Emmanuel Macron’s presidency in France.
The trends were discussed during the ‘State of the World Politics 2019’ session at the Arab Strategy Forum 2018.
Ambassador Dennis Ross, former Special Assistant to US President Barack Obama and Senior Director for the Central Region at the National Security Council, said any Israel-Palestinian deal has a chance if it is anchored in two fundamentals, “a credible state for Palestinians and the capital for this state.”
With the world’s focus on the Middle East, Ross dismissed the notion the US will ever completely disengage from the region.
Fawaz Gerges, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, noted the credibility of the United States as a mediator in the Israel-Palestinian impasse.
“Trump has already undermined the role of the US as a credible broker of peace in the Middle East,” said Gerges. “The Deal of the Century does not address the core problems of the people of Palestine.”
Bernardino León, Director General of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. said he had concerns about rise of nationalism around the world.
“Nationalism is not a threat any more — it is real, it is already in Europe, and Brexit was its first victim,” said León. adding nationalism “has not reached its peak, we are just seeing the tide come in, with no sign of it changing any time soon. We are already seeing neo-fascism in Italy and Germany, and who knows the state of France.”