Here are the key points of the conference held on January 12, 2017. Funded by The Sasakawa Foundation and co-organised with the Istanbul Policy Center, speakers from Istanbul Policy Center, Malaysia's Institute of Strategic & International Studies, and Japan's National Defence Academy were invited to deliberate on the role of the Gulf, the shifting geopolitical strategies of particular nations, as well as the evolution of a new regional order at the macro level.
1) According to Professor Bülent Aras, the principles of sectarianism and non-interventionism from which a Westphalian order was established are not a good fit for the Middle East.
2) Professor Ryoji Tateyama reiterated this disjuncture by highlighting the conflicting relationships between the Westphalian nation state system and the indigenous social structure.
3) Dr Bunn Nagara argued that despite the rhetoric of the Arab uprisings, it is likely that there will be no new alternative order.
4) Dr Altay Atli posited that the alliances within the region are influenced by the fight against jihadist groups, growing Russian involvement, and the spillover of geostrategic rivalry into domestic settings.
5) Dr Pinar Akpinar’s analysis indicated that the Syrian conflict, Gulf-related matters such as the war in Yemen, and the role of international players are some the determinants of the Gulf’s influence in the future.
6) Mattia Tomba considered Iran, Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia as the likely candidates to wield the most authority in the region in the coming years.