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148th Bergedorf Roundtable

“Transition in the Arab World: Implications for Gulf Security”

Muscat, March 11-13, 2011

The strategic significance of the Persian Gulf region is unique in the world. Home to the largest global oil and gas reserves, the Gulf region plays a pivotal role in global stability. Terrorism and religious tensions pose a threat to the Gulf’s stability. There is still no solution to the ongoing conflict over the Iranian nuclear programme. In recent years, the Persian Gulf has witnessed a massive military build-up. Finally, the recent changes in Northern Africa might also have far reaching consequences for the stability in the region.

The 148th Bergedorf Round Table examined in-depth the security prospects for the Gulf region. It focused on both perceived threats and common interests. It also discussed how recent regime changes in Egypt and Tunisia will shape the security prospects in the Gulf. In addition, discussants sought to identify pragmatic ideas to mitigate the regional stability risks.

Can deterrence and the balance of power do more to ensure security than cooperative arrangements? What can the regional actors do? What kind of contributions should external players including the US and Europe, but also new actors like China and India be making?

Among the participants were the Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs in the German Bundestag Ruprecht Polenz, MdB, the Foreign Policy Spokesperson of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag Rainer Stinner, MdB, the Secretary General in the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al-Busaidi as well as the Assistant Foreign Minister for Follow up Affairs in the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Abdallah Al-Rumaihi. Bergedorf Round Table participants included furthermore high-ranking politicians, government representatives and experts from the Gulf region, Europe, the US, and Asia.

Summary (PDF)

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