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.
The Atlantic Council hosted a luncheon with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at the Union Club in New York City. At a small, single-table sit down lunch, the President discussed his understanding of the circumstances not only facing his country, but the broader region in military, economic and cultural terms. He assessed the Russian-Georgian relationship as a David and Goliath story, condemning Russian aggression in the region. Echoing President Yushchenko’s remarks from the previous day Saakashvili called for NATO membership for both Ukraine and Georgia. He explained Russia’s interest in the two countries, stating: “Crimea is the crown, while Georgia is the jewel in that crown.”
President Saakashvili praised the American government for their bipartisan support. He stated that wider regional implications of the events rest on the support and coordination of the United States and the European Union. The coalition is divided on how to act in regards to NATO and the Membership Action Plans (MAP) for both countries. He warned the coalition of either “overplaying” or “underestimating” Russia during this sensitive time.
The lunch ended with a look forward to the ways in which the Georgian democratic system could be improved in the years after the Rose Revolution. Saakashvili discussed the need for limitations to presidential power as well as an increase in transparency and accountability.
This event was generously hosted by Atlantic Council board member Andrew Prozes, Global CEO of the LexisNexis Group.
Notable Guests and Dignitaries
- Mikhail Saakashvili - President of Georgia
- H.E. Irakli Alasania - Permanent Representative of Georgia to the United Nations
- Mr. Dimitri Sanakoev - Head of the Region of South Ossetia
- H.E. Vasil Sikharulidze - Ambassador of Georgia to the United States
- Ms. Ekaterina Tkeshelashvili - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
- The Honorable Richard C. Holbrooke - Vice-Chairman Perseus LLC
- Mr. Richard Gere - Founder and President of the Gere Foundation and Healing The Divide
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On May 23, the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Peace and Security Initiative at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security is hosting a panel discussion on new developments in security cooperation among the United States, its European allies, and the Gulf states, and how they are likely to evolve in the coming years.
On May 30, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will release a new issue brief, The Kaleidoscope Turns Again in a Crisis-Challenged Iran, a discussion of Iran’s upcoming presidential elections.
From June 13-14, the 2013 Wrocław Global Forum will bring together over 350 top policy-makers and business leaders to explore the region’s impact as an actor in Europe, as well as its crucial role in the transatlantic partnership and on the global stage.