CMEC blog

The views expressed on this blog are the authors' and do not reflect the views of CMEC or the Conservative Party.

CMEC Roundtable: Women in the Middle East

On Tuesday 17th May, the Conservative Middle East Council hosted a roundtable, chaired by CMEC Chairman Charlotte Leslie MP, in Portcullis House entitled “Middle East in Transition: what roles can women play?”.
On the panel were Dr Serra Kirdar, a fellow at St Anthony’s College Oxford, Dr Nervana Mahmoud, a renowned Egyptian blogger, Mrs Baria Alamuddin, […]

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The Queen’s Speech and Britain’s role in world affairs

The Queen delivered her 2016 Speech to both Houses of Parliament at the State Opening of Parliament yesterday.
 
In setting out the government’s agenda for the coming session parliamentary she said that: “My government will continue to play a leading role in world affairs, using its global presence to tackle climate change and address major international security, […]

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Sykes-Picot agreement 100 years old

Today marks the centenary of Sykes-Picot agreement, a secret agreement between Britain and France during World War I, which carved up the domains of the Ottoman Empire upon its defeat.
In the words of CMEC Vice Chairman Kwasi Kwarteng MP, “The Sykes Picot agreement, signed 100 years ago today, was a defining moment in the history of the […]

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Sir Alan Duncan MP speaks in Parliament on UK Gulf relations

During yesterday’s Westminster Hall Debate on UK relations with the Gulf – led by Charlotte Leslie MP – CMEC Chairman Sir Alan Duncan offered an expert overview of Middle East policy issues.
 
Click HERE to watch Sir Alan’s speech
 
Click HERE to read the transcript of the debate in full
 
 
 

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Charlotte Leslie MP leads Westminster Hall Debate on UK Gulf relations

CMEC Vice Chairman Charlotte Leslie MP led a Westminster Hall Debate on UK relations with the Gulf in the House of Commons this morning.
 
She opened the debate by reflecting on the importance of the UK’s friendship with the Gulf states at a time of turmoil in the region. In a debate that included many Conservative interventions, The Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan MP, […]

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issue 1 CMEC Behind the Headlines: Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision

CMEC is proud to release a pilot issue of Behind the Headlines: Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision.
 
This new initiative is designed to bridge the gap between our Daily Update and more in-depth publications. Issue 1 explores the detail and significance of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan, which was unveiled  by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier this week.  
Click 

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Charlotte Leslie MP: With violent turmoil erupting on Europe’s borders in the Middle East, the stakes just got much higher

In an exclusive article for CMEC, Charlotte Leslie MP discusses the turmoil erupting on Europe’s borders in Turkey and reflects on the European response: 
 
The bus rumbled along the sandy road to Gaziantep, the Turkish town accommodating a large share of Turkey’s enormous refugee camps, just off the Syrian border.  It was September 2015. Amongst other things, […]

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Latest CMEC publication released: A Kingdom in Transition

Following a CMEC visit to Saudi Arabia in April 2016, Kwasi Kwarteng MP and Conservative Middle East Council Director Leo Docherty have collaborated to write A Kingdom in Transition, a CMEC Gulf Program publication.
 
A Kingdom in Transition examines the monumental changes that have taken place over the last three years in the Kingdom and the Gulf region. The leadership […]

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Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visits Tripoli

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited Tripoli yesterday, in a show of support for Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj and the new Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).
 
During the visit he announced £10 million funding to support the GNA. This includes £1.5million for tackling illegal migration, smuggling and organised crime, and £1.8 million to support counter-terrorism […]

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Foreign Secretary welcomes visit of British Ambassador to Tripoli

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond welcomed the visit to Tripoli of the British Ambassador to Libya, Peter Millett, yesterday. It was the first time a British Ambassador to Libya has been in Tripoli since the British Embassy was evacuated in 2014.
 
The visit was coordinated with visits by the Spanish and French Ambassadors and was an opportunity for […]

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Obama statement on progress in the Fight Against Isil

US President Barack Obama made a statement on the progress in the Fight Against Isil from the CIA headquarters in Langley yesterday.
 
Mr Obama said the jihadist group had lost 40 per cent of its territories in Iraq and 10 per cent of those in Syria. But the President also sounded a note of caution, warning Isil […]

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UK military operations in Syria and Iraq examined by Defence Committee

The Defence Select Committee held an evidence session in the House of Commons this morning as part of  its inquiry into UK military operations in Syria and Iraq.
 
The witnesses included Richard Atwood, Director of Multilateral Affairs and Head of New York Office at the International Crisis Group, and Claudia Gazzini, a Senior Analyst at the International […]

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Yemen truce reportedly holding

A much-awaited truce came into force in Yemen early this morning and, according to reports, it appears to be holding.
Both the Saudi-led coalition supporting government forces in Yemen and the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels who are trying to overthrow the government have pledged to comply with the UN mediated cease-fire. The truce is a stepping stone for peace talks […]

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Saudi King Salman addresses Egypt’s parliament

Saudi King Salman addressed Egypt’s parliament yesterday on the fourth day of his landmark visit to the country.
 
In a six-minute address, King Salman called for a joint fight against terrorism in the Middle East. He said that Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed to build a bridge linking the two nations across the Red Sea and […]

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Foreign Affairs Committee report on “The UK’s role in the war against ISIL following the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria in February 2016”

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has this morning published a report on “The UK’s role in the war against ISIL following the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria in February 2016”.
 
The report says that the Foreign Office needs to step up efforts to broker a preliminary deal between the regime of President Bashar Assad and […]

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