National Council on U.S. Arab Relations: Recapping the Arab & US Responses

HRH Prince Turki Al Sa'ud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Addresses NCUSAR

By: Mehrunisa Qayyum

Washington, DC-On October 27th and 28th, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) held its 20th Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, “Dynamics of Recent Events in the Arab World: Framing the Arab and U.S. Responses” at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. NCUSAR’s CEO and Founding President, Dr. John Duke Anthony, inaugurated the event by congratulating Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya for its respective Arab Spring achievements. Notable guest speakers included: a) Ambassador Hussein Hassouna, League of Arab States; b) Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Sa’ud, Saudi Arabia; c) Ambassador Sameh Shoukry, Egypt: and d) Ambassador Ali Aujali, Libya.

The focus on investing in energy security and defense cooperation remained central to the U.S.-Arab relations strategy. Nonetheless, developments related to the Arab Spring interjected into panels related to the Magreb region. Bahrain was not highlighted in any context regarding their struggle for human dignity–the underlying motto in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen. In contrast to last year, the League of Arab States emerged as a key actor in various panel discussions. Prince Turki emphasized two issues: 1) he condemned Syria’s authoritarian ruler, Bashar al-Asad’s brutal crackdown on his own people; and 2) summarized that vetoing the statehood for Palestine, not only affects Saudi-US relations, but affects the rest of the world, not just the Muslim world.

(Note: PITAPOLICY Consulting’s complete analysis of the two-day conference, and specific panel commentary, are available for purchase by contacting:

Session 1: “Dynamics of Defense Cooperation”
-Ambassador James Larocco
-Dr. John Moynihan
-General Joseph Hoar (USMC, Ret.)
-Col. David Des Roches
-Mr. Bob Sharp

Session 2: “Energy Dynamics”
-Hon. Molly Williamson
-Dr. Herman T. Franssen
-Mr Jay Pryor
-Ms. Randa Fahmy Hudome

Keynote Address Delivered by Ambassador of Egypt to the U.S.: H.E. Sameh Shoukry

Session 3: “Geopolitical Dynamics (I): Iraq”
-Dr. Kenneth B. Katzman (Congressional Research Service)
-Dr. Eric Davis (Author of forthcoming book: Taking Democracy Seriously in Iraq)
-Dr. Juan Cole (Author of Engaging the Muslim World)
-Dr. Paul Sullivan (Industrial College of Armed Forces)
-Ms. Shameen Rassam (Al-Hurra Television, Iraq)

Session 4: “Geopolitical Dynamics of Maghreb (Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya), Syria, Yemen”
-Ms. Jennifer Salan (Senior Producer at Al-Jazeera English)
-Dr. Nejib Ayachi (Founder of Magreb Center)
-Dr. Michele Dunne (Director of Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East)
-Mr. Christopher Blanchard (Congressional Research Service)

Session 5: A View from the U.S. Department of State
-Dr. Tamara Wittes (Deputy Assistant Secretary for near Easter Affairs)

Session 6: Business Investment & Financial Development Dynamics & Prospects
-Mr. Michael Markland
-Ambassador Ford Fraker
-Ambassador Joseph LeBaron
-Mr. Danny E. Sebright
-Mr. Lionel Johanson

Session 7: Gulf Cooperation Council Dynamics (III)
-Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla (lead author of 2008 Arab Knowledge Report)
-Dr. Abdulla AlShayji (Kuwait University)
-Mr. Jeremy Jones (Author of forthcoming book: Oman, Culture and Diplomacy)
-Mr. Robert Lacy (Historian)

Luncheon Address by HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Sa’ud

Session 8: “Libya the Way Forward”
-H.E. Ambassador Ali Aujali of the National Transitional Council

Session 9: “Geopolitical Dynamics (IV): Palestine”
-Mr. Yousef Munayyer (Palestine Center)
-H.E. Ambassador Maen Areikat
-Ms. Michelle Steinberg (Executive Intelligence Review)
-Dr. Ghada Karmi (University of Exeter)
-Dr. Norton Mezvinksy (Connecticut State University)

Session 10: “Geopolitical Dynamics (V): Iran”
-Dr. John L. Iskander (Foreign Service Institute)
-Dr. Flynt Leverett (New America Foundation)
-Mr. Afshin Molavi (New America Foundation)
-Dr. Janne Nolan (American Security Project, University of Pittsburgh)
-Mr. Kenneth Katzman

Session 11: Policy Implications from the League of Arab States
-Ambassador Hussein Hassouna
-Mr. Bill Corcoran
-Mr. John Moran

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