Upcoming Event

Details

Date:
May 11, 2023
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Event Category:

Venue

Online

One month after the eighth anniversary of the Saudi-led Arab coalition’s military intervention in Yemen, the first solid step toward peace between Riyadh and the Houthis took place in Sana’a, when the Saudi ambassador to Yemen met with leaders from the northern rebel movement. That meeting, mediated by Oman, was followed by statements from all sides stressing the need for a political resolution to the Yemen conflict and an end to violence. The meeting came at a time of general de-escalation and rapprochement across the Middle East; last year, Yemen witnessed the first lasting truce between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis, a significant exchange of prisoners, and several rounds of productive negotiations. Indeed, the progress in peace talks has alleviated some concerns of both sides and given civilians a crucial break from hostilities, enabling humanitarian work to proceed across the country. In spite of these encouraging trends, however, low-level clashes between pro-government forces and the Houthis have continued in Marib and other disputed areas.

The motives for de-escalation between Saudi Arabia and the Houthis have played a clear role in the negotiations process fostered by Oman and the UN. Neither Riyadh nor Sana’a regarded the prolonging of the war with no clear winner as a desirable outcome. In order to proceed with its ambitious economic plans, Riyadh needs stability in the region and an end to the security threats along its southern border. In turn, the Houthis have sought international recognition for their rule and economic growth to legitimize their government. The greatest victor in a peace agreement will be the Yemeni people themselves, who have quietly suffered the war’s worst consequences since its onset.

What are possible concessions for each side to initiate the peace process? How can a Saudi-Houthi agreement pave the way for a Yemeni-Yemeni agreement? How can Yemeni women and civil society organizations be part of any agreement? What are the priorities for any agreement to preserve the country’s unity and prevent future infighting?

Featured Speakers: Ambassador Patrick Theros, Ambassador Gerald Feierstein, Summer Nasser, Dr. Nabeel Khoury.

Speakers Bio:

Ambassador Patrick Theros (moderator)

Strategic Advisor, Gulf International Forum

@PNT_Theros

Ambassador Theros has held such positions as Political Advisor to the Commander in Chief, Central Command; Deputy Chief of Mission and Political officer in Amman; Charge D’affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi; Economic Counselor in Damascus; and U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar. In a career spanning almost 36 years, he also has served in diplomatic positions in Beirut, Managua, Dharan and Abu Dhabi, as well as in the Department of State. During that period, he earned four Superior Honor Awards. After retirement Ambassador Theros served as President of the U.S. Qatar Business Council in 2000-2017.

Ambassador Gerald Feierstein

Distinguished Senior Fellow on U.S. Diplomacy and Director of Arabian Peninsula Affairs, Middle East Institute

Amb. (ret.) Gerald Feierstein is a distinguished senior fellow on U.S. diplomacy at MEI, and director of its Arabian Peninsula Affairs program. He retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in May 2016 after a 41-year career with the personal rank of Career Minister. As a diplomat he served in nine overseas postings, including three tours of duty in Pakistan, as well as assignments in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Tunisia. In 2010, President Obama appointed Amb. Feierstein U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, where he served until 2013. From 2013 until his retirement, Amb. Feierstein was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

In addition to his career-long focus on the Near East and South Asia, Amb. Feierstein also played a prominent role in developing and implementing State Department policies and programs to counter violent extremism.  As Deputy Coordinator and Principal Deputy Coordinator in the State Department’s Counter-Terrorism bureau, Amb. Feierstein led the development of initiatives to build regional networks to confront extremist groups as well as to counter terrorist financing and promote counter-terrorism messaging. He continued to focus on defeating terrorist groups through his subsequent tours as Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan and as Ambassador to Yemen.

Summer Nasser

CEO, Yemen Aid

@ToEducate

Summer Nasser is the CEO of Yemen Aid, a humanitarian organization established in late 2016 in response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. She is a speaker and analyst on Yemeni affairs. Nasser has appeared on BBC, Al Jazeera, and PRI, and she has spoken alongside notable diplomats and experts Additionally, she has received multiple awards by international organizations and US officials, including congressional leaders.

Dr. Nabeel A. Khoury

Non-resident Fellow, Arab Center Washington DC

@khoury_nabeel

Nabeel A. Khoury is a Non-resident Fellow at Arab Center Washington DC. In 2013, after twenty-five years in the Foreign Service, Dr. Khoury retired from the US Department of State with the rank of Minister Counselor. In his last overseas posting, Khoury served as deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Yemen, from 2004 to 2007. In 2003, during the Iraq War, he served as department spokesperson at US Central Command in Doha and in Baghdad. In his last posting in Washington before retirement, Khoury served as director of the Near East and South Asia Office at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He has also taught Middle East and US strategy courses at the National Defense University and at Northwestern University.

Khoury earned a BA in political science from the American University of Beirut and both an MA and PhD in political science from the State University of New York at Albany. Before his Foreign Service career, Khoury was assistant professor of political science at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY and assistant professor of political science at the University of Jordan in Amman. He has published articles on issues of leadership and development in the Arab world in the Middle East Journal, the Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and has published on the regional impact of the Arab uprisings and on US policy in Yemen in Middle East Policy. His monograph, Bunker Diplomacy: An Arab-American in the US Foreign Service, was published by Westphalia Press in 2019. Khoury’s publications and opinions can be found on Twitter @khoury_nabeel, and on his personal website: nabeelkhoury.com.

Details

Date:
May 11, 2023
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Event Category:

Venue

Online
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