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Iran after the Nuclear Deal

It gives us great pleasure to publish this collection of interviews and essays on the economic and trade implications of the Iran Nuclear Deal.

The Nuclear Deal remains one of the most significant diplomatic achievements of this decade. It aims to check Iran’s nuclear ambitions while also providing a path for the country’s reintegration into the world economy.

In this CMEC publication, Lord Lamont, Yassamin Issapour and Ellie Geranmayeh shed unique light on the background and future opportunities provided by the Nuclear Deal.

You can read the document HERE

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Middle East Peace: The Principles behind the Process

It gives us great pleasure to publish Middle East Peace: The Principles behind the Process written by CMEC Chairman The Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan MP

The situation in Palestine continues to go unresolved and illegal settlements continue. The publication serves as a timely reminder that the plight of the Palestinians remains a central injustice in the Middle East.

You can read Middle East Peace: The Principles behind the Process in full HERE

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A Kingdom in Transition

April 2016

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 of Saudi Arabia has undergone a major generational shift, the global oil price has tumbled, the Isil threat has risen to prominence, Saudi Arabia has intervened in Yemen and Iran has re-entered the world stage.

The authors reflect on a range of very recent first hand experiences – such as meeting the Deputy Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman – and analyse the response of the Saudi leadership and the consequences for British foreign policy in the Middle East region.

You can read the document HERE

Policy Lecture 2016

CMEC Annual Policy Lecture 2016: The Middle East and UK Foreign Policy

The Conservative Middle East Council was delighted to have The Foreign Secretary, The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, deliver our 2016 Annual Policy Lecture and it gives us particular pleasure to see the text published here.

To read the transcript of the lecture, please click HERE

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The Syria Crisis: A View from Turkey

November 2015

Following CMEC’s visit to Turkey, Kwasi Kwarteng MP and CMEC Director Leo Docherty have collaborated to write The Syria Crisis: A View from Turkey.

The publication presents a snapshot of the situation in Turkey and Syria as viewed by the the authors who travelled to Turkey in late September 2015 .

With Parliament set to  vote on British airstrikes against Isil in Syria, the authors analyse the impact of the Syrian crisis, and discuss British, US and Russian foreign policy in relation to Turkey and Syria and in the context of the recent terror attacks in Paris and Russia’s intervention.

You can read the document HERE





What next for the Iranian nuclear talks?

December 2014

Following the announcement of a 7 month extension in the talks, Sir Richard Dalton, Norman Lamont and Shashank Joshi analyse the current status of the Iran talks.

You can read the document here.

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Towards a New Iraq?

September 2014

Following CMEC’s visit to Iraqi Kurdistan, Kwasi Kwarteng MP and Leo Docherty have written Towards a New Iraq?

Towards a New Iraq? offers a snapshot of the Iraqi situation as viewed by the CMEC delegates who visited Erbil between 16 and 18 September 2014. With Parliament set to be recalled to debate British involvement in airstrikes against the Islamic State, the two authors analyse the realities on the ground in the Kurdish region, the requirement for a viable political solution to Iraq’s current crisis and the UK’s potential role in the future.

You can download the publication by clicking here.


Iraq Crisis Briefing – Updated

Shashank Joshi
September 2014

Shashank Joshi answers the key questions about the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):

  • What is the Islamic State (IS)?
  • How strong is IS?
  • What are the next steps?
  • What Britain’s options?

To read the full briefing, please click here.

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An Unlikely Arabist

June 2014

The Rt Hon Alistair Burt reflects on his time as Minister for the Middle East in this candid and personal perspective on the events that have rocked the region since January 2010. Mr Burt gives his thoughts on the conflict in Syria, the ongoing Middle East Peace Process and on wider regional security in light of the challenges it faces.

Alistair Burt entered Parliament for the first time in 1983 for Bury North and since 2001 has been the Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire. Following a lengthy and varied front bench career in both Government and Opposition, Alistair was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office between May 2010 – October 2013 with responsibility for Counter Terrorism, Counter Proliferation, Counter Piracy, North America, Middle East and North Africa, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Mr Burt was appointed a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council in November 2013.

To read the document, please click here.


A Saudi Perspective of Middle East Events

January 2014

The Conservative Middle East Council was delighted to have asked HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal to deliver its 2014 Annual Policy Lecture and it gives us particular pleasure to see the text published here.

To read the transcript of the lecture, please click here.


Egypt 2014: Revolution Revisited

February 2014

Following CMEC’s visit to Cairo, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Leo Docherty and Marc Morrison have written a follow up to Egypt 2011: Revolution and Transition.

Egypt 2014: Revolution Revisited picks up where the previous document left off and analyses the political situation in Egypt since January 2012. The three authors look at the fall of Morsi, the confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood and the imminent Presidential election which looks likely to be won by the charismatic Egyptian Defence Minister, Abdul Fattah al Sisi.

To read the document, please click here.


Iran: What is the Geneva Agreement?

November 2013

Shashank Joshi answers three questions:

  • What is the Geneva Agreement?
  • What is the West getting?
  • What is Iran getting?

You can read the document, here.


Syria Explained

October 2013

Shashank Joshi provides straightforward answers to the key questions on the current crisis in Syria:

  • Who is winning?
  • Who are the rebels and are they united?
  • Which states are involved in the current crisis?
  • Will Russia’s chemical weapons plan work?
  • What are British interests in Syria?
To read the full briefing, please click here.



Egypt and the Rise of Islamism

February 2013

The 2011 uprisings across the Arab world spectacularly removed decades-long regimes from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and threaten to do so in Syria. The once-imagined prospect of Islamist political forces playing a central role in the region’s future is now a reality. The complex challenges of defining what Islamism means in this new political setting, who are its leading protagonists, what are their qualities, and ultimately what are their goals remain fundamental to efforts to successfully navigate the region’s domestic politics, security and stability and international relations. This paper attempts to offer some understanding of the movement in its most modern form – as an emphatically political phenomenon in the context of the Arab Spring – and what this means for both Arab Muslim states and their western counterparts, now.

To read Charles Holmes’ pamphlet, please click here.


What the Arabs Really Want

January 2013

The Conservative Middle East Council was delighted to welcome Sir Sherard Cowper- Coles for its second Annual Policy Lecture and it gives me particular pleasure to see the text published here.

Sir Sherard’s remarkable speech captures a great swathe of modern Middle Eastern history and weaves together not just a masterly overview of Britain’s historical links with the region, but also explains the immense challenges facing the modern Arab world and the political imperatives that must be resolved if the region is to have any hope of a just and peaceful future.

To read Sir Sherard’s lecture, please click here.


Nuclear Iran: Engagement or Intervention?

29th October 2012

Shashank Joshi, a Research Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), explores the future of Nuclear Iran. This insightful and lucid document investigates the regime’s capacity and desire to acquire nuclear weapons; examines the threat of a nuclear Iran and whether international sanctions are proving an effective discouragement; and questions the viability of military actions as a Western response.

“By structuring his commentary around seven key questions, Shashank has skilfully brought to light the perils of a military strike on Iran, something that all parliamentarians should keep at the forefront of their minds.”

The Rt. Hon. Nicholas Soames MP, President of the Conservative Middle East Council.

Download the PDF here.


Voices from Syria

25 April 2012

“ The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in  time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.”
John F. Kennedy, with reference to Dante.

During 18-23 April the CMEC Deputy Chairman, Adam Holloway MP and Director, Leo Docherty travelled to Lebanon to meet with a broad range of Syrian refugees, Syrian opposition activists and members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), in order to gain a deeper understanding of the ground level situation. The meetings took place in Beirut, Tripoli, the Bekaa valley and the unstable Syrian border area. This briefing note contains a selection of extracts from the testimonies from the meetings and a brief summary of the key findings of the visit.

Download the PDF here.



Egypt 2011: Revolution and Transition

11 February 2012

‘The importance of CMEC’s work in informing British and European policy towards Egypt cannot be overstated. After 2011, the West will have to re-evaluate all of its policies towards the Arab world.

Thanks to CMEC and its policy of engagement with the region, British parliamentarians are one step ahead of the rest.’

Eugene Rogan, Director, Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford

Download the PDF or view online.

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The Arab Spring: Implications for British Policy

October 2011

‘This is a welcome work to help us all understand better the causes and consequences of this momentous episode in the Arab world.’

Rt. Hon. Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State for International Development

‘CMEC have done us all a favour by bringing together significant commentators on the Arab World with short, readable essays touching the key points of this phenomenon across the region. Genuinely helpful to anyone wanting to understand where we are now, and what these early stages mean.’

Alistair Burt MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Download the PDF or view online.