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Whither the Middle East: More Conflict or New Peace?

Date and time: September 23, 2020, 10 am Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)

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Lebanon is in chaos, as it struggles to rebuild politically and physically. Tensions between Iran and the US are again mounting over access to arms and their rivalry in the region, with fears of a showdown this fall. Syria is nearing a decade of war, with no imminent prospects of peace or reconciliation. ISIS still has an estimated 10,000 fighters menacing Iraq and Syria. Yet, in the midst of volatile times, Israel and the UAE signed the first peace agreement in more than a quarter-century. Where is the Middle East headed in these turbulent times – toward more conflict or new peace?

Introduction: Merissa Khurma, Program Manager, Middle East Program

Moderator: Robin Wright, USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Fellow; Journalist and author

Daniel Kurtzer, former ambassador to Israel and Egypt; Professor of Middle East Policy Studies at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs; and author

Vali Nasr, former dean, Professor of International Affairs and Middle East Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University and author

Maha Yahya, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center and author