Saudi Perspective on the Middle East: Gulf Union Context – Obaid

Published: May 12, 2012

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Editor’s Note:

This week Mr. Nawaf Obaid, former strategic adviser to Prince Turki Al-Faisal, presented a briefing titled, “Saudi Perspective on the Middle East: The View from Riyadh” at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Obaid told SUSRIS the briefing was provided to bring context to expected announcements on the question of Gulf union at the May 14, 2012 meeting of GCC leaders in Riyadh. [See “Toward a Union Formula – Prince Saud Al Faisal” – SUSRIS – Apr 30, 2012.]

In this SUSRIS exclusive presentation, the “Saudi Perspective on the Middle East: The View from Riyadh” assessment provides: the background and context for Saudi diplomacy — assets and characteristics; economic and energy data; sources of regional instability; the “New Gulf Union”; profile of Gulf defense configurations; the Kingdom’s role in regional stabilization and its political and economic positioning; and key Saudi initiatives vis a vis Iran, Bahrain, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Tunisia.

The presentation was released under the banner of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, where Obaid is a senior fellow. The Center is headed by Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Ambassador to the United Kingdom [2003-2005] and the United States [2005-2007]; and Director General of the General Intelligence Directorate [1977-2001]. He is retired from an active role in government but he reflects Riyadh’s thinking especially regarding foreign affairs and relations with the United States.

This briefing builds upon and expands the presentations Obaid published in SUSRIS earlier this year. They are available here as well as on the SUSRIS SlideShare page and the SUSRIS iPhone App. Check the related items below for links.

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Exclusive

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About Nawaf Obaid

Nawaf Obaid is a Senior Fellow at the King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies & Research. Formerly he served as a strategic adviser to HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal.

He is the author of “The Oil Kingdom at 100: Petroleum Policymaking in Saudi Arabia (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2000) and co-author with Anthony Cordesman, of National Security in Saudi Arabia: Threats, Responses and Challenges” (Praeger/CSIS, 2005). He has been published extensively, including in The Washington Post, The New York times, The Financial Times and Foreign Policy.

From 1999-2000 he was a (Non-Resident) Research Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and from 2004-2007 he was a (Non-Resident) Adjunct Fellow with the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC.

He holds a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, and M.P.P. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and has completed doctoral courses at MIT’s Department of Political Science. He has received an M.Phil (and will complete a D.Phil in War Studies in 2012) from King’s College Department of War Studies.

Source: King Faisal Center for Research & Islamic Studies

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