Hariri Center Director Michele Dunne and Senior Fellow Amy Hawthorne reflect on US policy toward the Middle East and North Africa in the two years since President Barack Obama promised to make it a top priority to support democracy and human rights in the region.
J. Peter Pham, director the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, was one of four experts invited to address a high-level international conference on the crisis in the Sahel region convened today in The Hague.
Rudolph Atallah, senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, testified at a House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on “The Growing Crisis in Africa’s Sahel Region.”
On the heels of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the United States, Energy & Environment Program Associate Director Mihaela Carstei joins CTV to discuss the Keystone Pipeline project that would transport tar sands oil from Canada and the northern United States to refineries in the Gulf coast of Texas.
On Tuesday, an official EU probe into the causes and progression of the Georgia conflict in August was launched. Deutsche Welle:
Heidi Tagliavini, former UN special representative to Georgia, will head the enquiry, which will consist of ten "recognized experts" handpicked to dissect the facts surrounding events leading to and during the war.
The team will draw on military, history, legal, and human rights expertise and has until July 31, 2009, to present its conclusions to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), EU nations, Georgia, and Russia.
With Russia and Georgia each accusing the other of provoking the conflict, information about the initial attacks remains murky. In a piece for the WSJ, Saakashvili insisted that Georgia acted out of self-defense and urged Europe not to take a soft line against Russia:
"If the international response is not firm, Moscow will make other moves to redraw the region's map by intimidation or force."
Troublingly, the probe depends on inspection of the conflict zones, which Russia has thus far not granted to EU ceasefire monitors:
The success of the EU fact-finding mission hinges on gaining access to both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in which Russia has maintained a troop presence since fighting stopped.