Arab world tensions will ease with solid relations, say experts

At a panel session titled 'The Race for Relevance and Influence in the Region: GCC, Iran, Turkey & Russia' during the 12th Arab Strategy Forum (ASF 2019) on Monday, panelists said that Middle Eastern countries need to join forces with international powers to bring peace to the region.

Moderated by Becky Anderson, managing editor and anchor at CNN Abu Dhabi, the panel discussion opened a dialogue about the roles of these countries and the GCC region in ushering in an era of reconciliation.

"After 40 years of clerical regime and military autocracy, there is now a rise of Persian nationalism. This is a shift from the sheer revolution ideology. There is also the evolution of the identity of the Arab Shia. There is a need to build sustainable and stable nations over the next decade," - Karim Sadjadpour, chief Iran expert and senior fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

"Turkey needs to rebuild its relations with other nations. The country has to gain trust and make powerful alliances that will create a positive effect in the region. We need to have civil rights rather than revolutions, and an impactful strategy that makes a difference," Professor Hüseyin Bagci, chair of international relations department, Middle East Technical University; and, deputy director, Foreign Policy Institute, Ankara

"The GCC states are witnesses to a lot of promises and initiatives that other countries offer to the region. Russia does want to strengthen relations and build more associations, but even in trade, it is not as strong an alliance as China. Solid efforts need to be made to rebuild conflicted areas in the region. A country like Syria needs to be overseen by a powerful group that will work towards its betterment," Dr Abdulaziz Bin Sager, founder and chairman of the Gulf Research Centre

"Russia has always maintained friendly relations with the Middle East. The Russian people want to see the conflicts resolved here. Despite challenges, both economic and political, we can integrate our efforts to create a long-term solution to the issues plaguing the region. It is strange not to combine our efforts when we all want the same thing. Rebuilding Syria should be one of our biggest concerns. Russia welcomes any efforts to restore the country together," Dr Elena Suponina, advisor,  Russian Institute for Strategic Studies

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