The impact of geopolitical changes on international relations in the Middle East

Map of the Middle East (Photo by Shutterstock)

The Middle East could form new alliances in the coming months, writes Ahmad Abdel-Rahman.

The Middle East is going through structural transformations that will impact the direction of how the region interacts with other countries, said Mahmoud Fahmy, vice president of the National Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Professor of Political Science. He pointed out that the current developments can be summarized as follows:

The first development: Influences will not be confined to one country or region, as happened in the post-World War II era. Bilateral and multilateral alliances and polarisations will emerge between countries as well as with military, political and economic organisations.  This confirms the needo reconsider current alliances, and to build more serious ones, based on "political realism". Perhaps these alliances will emerge in the post-Corona crisis world.

The second development: The Middle East will divide itself between stable non-monarchist states such as Egypt and Algeria, and monarchies, such as Morocco and the UAE.

All the settlements proposed in most of the countries of the region, especially in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, are viewed as interim and indecisive.

The third development: The Middle East will be active in regional and international relations, not only as recipients or subordinate centres of influence. Arab and Middle Eastern relations are complex and is not easy to expect that current ties will change because of a change in an American administration or shifts in international alliances.

Geopolitical changes

Geopolitical changes, and those expected to occur in the short and medium term, will impact the structure of regional and international relations. Proof for this is that some countries in the region will have to reevaluate their relations with the Western powers For their part, the US and EU countries still adopt a vision that is more related to the major countries of the region, despite what happened before and after the Corona crisis, and the continuing instability in the region.

There will be multiple options and scenarios. For example, there is a link between the idea of ​​Arab national security and a concern for joint Arab institutions. This is highlighted by the fact that some Arab countries have reconciled with Israel. The US could also change its relations with the Arab world, based on a strategy that goes beyond the traditional pattern followed by former President Barack Obama. Russia is also taking a more realistic approach to Syria and Libya. China will also be part of the strategy of the Arab world and this relationship is likely to be based on realistic assessments, that are not just economic or strategic objectives and initiatives.

The Middle East is the most influential and turbulent region in contemporary international politics. The region struggles geopolitically.

Re-arranging the priorities of the international system could happen within five years, according to some estimates. The foundations and premises of international relations will enter a new phase, which emerged clearly after the Covid-19 pandemic. It is expected that changes will continue and will not be limited to the countries of the Middle East, but will extend to other regions.

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Saturday, 30 September 2023