China’s Expanding Influence in the Middle East

KAS and IFI hold conference on Beijing's interests, aims and strategies

The last decade has seen an increasing economic and political involvement of the People’s Republic of China in the Middle East. China’s push to the west has become most visible through its “One Belt, One Road” initiative, in which the region plays a pivotal role and that aims to connect Asia, Europe and Africa. On 28 September, the KAS Syria/Iraq office and the Issam Fares Institute (IFI) held a conference in Beirut titled “China’s Expanding Influence in the Middle East – Trade, Energy, Security and Multipolarity” to discuss China’s long-term interests, aims and strategies in the region. more…

Nils Wörmer, Lucas Lamberty | Event Reports | October 13, 2017

The Fight Against the Islamic State in Iraq After Mosul

KAS and al-Nahrain Center hold conference in Baghdad

On 7 July 2017, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the liberation of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS). But the lasting presence of IS cells in the liberated areas indicates already today that the organization will continue to destabilize the country in the future as an insurgency group. The challenges for the Iraqi security forces and the state’s policies resulting from this development were discussed during a conference of the KAS Syria/Iraq office and the al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies on 13 September in Bagh-dad. more…

Nils Wörmer, Lucas Lamberty | Event Reports | September 19, 2017

Planning for New Economic and Financial Policies in Iraq

Conference in Bagdad on economic reforms after the defeat of the IS

In the past three years, the international community has predominately focused on the fight against the IS in Iraq. Now that the terrorist organization is on the verge of its military defeat, there is an urgent need to plan for the reconstruction of the liberated areas and the reform of the Iraqi economy. Against this background, the Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies, in cooperation with the KAS Syria/Iraq Office, held its first annual conference on 16 September 2017 in Baghdad under the title “The Planning for New Economic and Financial Policies in Iraq.” more…

Event Reports | September 19, 2017

Civil rights of ethnic and religious minorities in Kurdistan-Iraq

OTT and KAS hold high-level conference in Erbil with minority representatives

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is home to a large number of different ethnic and religious minorities. In 2015, the Kurdish parliament passed the Law of Protecting the Rights of Components in Kurdistan-Iraq, which guarantees efficient and full equality to all ethnic and religious minorities living in the Muslim-Kurdish-dominated KRI. On 30 August 2017, Open Think Tank (OTT) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s Syria/Iraq Office held a conference in Erbil to discuss the applications and limitations of the legal and civil rights of these minorities in the KRI. more…

Event Reports | September 15, 2017

The Significance of Southern Syria - The Elements and Trajectory of a Civil War

KAS and MdF publish Policy Paper on future scenarios in the region

In spite of its geostrategic significance, the south of Syria has received less media and political attention than the rest of the war-torn country. In their policy paper for KAS and Maison du Futur, Frederic Hof and Faysal Itani from the Atlantic Council explain the relevance of the Syrian south for all actors involved. The two authors compare three possible scenarios for the future of the region and argue that an Iranian dominance at the borders to Jordan and Israel could be the most likely outcome of the current conflict. more…

September 7, 2017