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2024 Sixth Annual Gulf International Conference

Details

Date:
October 17
Time:
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:

Venue

The National Press Club
529 14th Street NW
Washington DC, 20045
+ Google Map

Organizer

Gulf International Forum

More details about panels, speakers and registration will be announced soon.

Conference Synopsis

The Sixth Annual Gulf International Conference title “Pivotal Elections and Shifting Strategies: Aligning U.S. and Gulf State Priorities in an Evolving Global Landscape,” aims to foster dialogue, share insights, and explore strategies addressing the critical issues shaping U.S.-Gulf relations. The conference will provide platform for more than 30 speakers across six panels covering U.S. elections, Gulf states’ role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, multipolarity in the Gulf, economic corridors and ventures, geopolitics of rivals and allies in the region, and the role of media and social media. Throughout the one-day conference, we will discuss the evolving relationship in the region and with the United States amid significant geopolitical, security, and economic challenges, offering valuable insights and fostering meaningful discussions.

The year 2024 stands as a watershed moment for U.S.-Gulf relations amid significant geopolitical and security upheavals in the Gulf and the broader Middle East, coinciding with the pivotal U.S. presidential elections. Early in the year, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East faced significant challenges, particularly due to the Gaza war. Vivid images depicting the human toll ignited widespread outrage, intensifying pressure on the Biden Administration as efforts to broker a ceasefire stumbled for months.

While Washington endeavored to contain tensions within the Gaza strip and prevent a broader Middle East escalation, Iran and Israel teetered on the brink of war. The two regional adversaries launched unprecedented airstrikes on each other’s territories, with Israel experiencing the most extensive aerial assaults in its history. Although hostilities appear to be subsiding, an all-out war cannot be ruled out.

This tension in the Middle East arises at a particularly delicate time for Washington and the Biden administration. Amid the election fervor, Gulf states are meticulously monitoring the rhetoric of U.S. presidential candidates, discerning distinct priorities and approaches to Middle Eastern policy among the parties. These differences have historically shaped the Gulf states’ strategies toward the U.S., with an eye on broader regional implications.

The unfolding events underscore the enduring challenges in the Middle East and their profound impact on U.S.-Gulf relations. In a striking parallel to the 1970s-1980s, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has reemerged as a central issue influencing U.S.-Gulf relations in 2023-2024. Washington-led initiatives pursued new normalization deals, while Gulf states prioritized the recognition of the Palestinian state, seeking to resolve a conflict that has endured for over eight decades. These efforts reveal the intricate interplay between domestic pressures within the Gulf states, regional security concerns, and the shifting geopolitical landscape that significantly impacts the GCC states’ strategic outlook.

Despite these challenges, the Gulf states are capitalizing on the evolving geopolitical dynamics to strategically reposition themselves. In an era marked by fierce competition among global powers, Gulf states are astutely hedging their positions on regional, economic, and security fronts. The intensified rivalry among superpowers in the region has unlocked opportunities for the GCC states, particularly in sectors like technology, sustainable energy, and defense industries. This dynamic shift has also empowered them to take on influential roles in regional conflicts, whether as mediators or active participants. This strategic pivot by the Gulf states toward diversified partnerships is designed to fortify their stability and economic interests in response to Washington’s deepened focus on the Indo-Pacific.

Driven by a pressing need to achieve their national visions, climate action, innovation-led development, and international corridor agreements, underscore the GCC states’ proactive diversification strategy. The region’s strategic location, robust ties with both East and West, and advanced infrastructure and ports have established the Gulf as a conduit linking Asia with Europe. In 2023 and 2024, alongside the Gulf states’ involvement in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, two major international trade corridor initiatives were launched – IMEC and the Iraq Development Road. This significantly enhanced the Gulf region’s importance for both Asian and Western economies. Concurrently, Gulf states’ quest for global influence was evident in their increased investment and role in different media platforms. The use of media, social media and artificial intelligence in the Gulf grew in the last decade with an emphasis on the soft power and economic ventures linked to these fields.

The six panels aim to address key pressing issues: How will the 2024 U.S. presidential election affect U.S.-Gulf relations and regional stability? How will Gulf states balance their relations with the U.S. and other global powers? What opportunities and challenges do commerce and trade corridors offer to the Gulf region and the U.S.? How can the U.S. effectively navigate its foreign policy in the Middle East amid ongoing conflicts and domestic pressures?  What are the prospects for Gulf state’s role in the birth of Palestinian state and what role can new normalization deals play this regard? How have Gulf states leveraged traditional media and social media platforms to enhance their global influence and interests?

Details

Date:
October 17
Time:
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:

Venue

The National Press Club
529 14th Street NW
Washington DC, 20045
+ Google Map

Organizer

Gulf International Forum
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