Discussion forum – A Physical Event
Organized by the Cyprus Economic Society
Friday 21 June 2024
Venue: Stelios Philanthropic Foundation Head Quarters, 5 Markou Drakou Street, Nicosia
Subject: The Middle East Crisis, broader implications, and risk of escalation
Speaker: Kristin Fabbe, Professor in Business and Comparative Politics at the Florence School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute
Chair and introduction: Ioannis Tirkides – Economic Research Manager, Bank of Cyprus, and President of the Cyprus Economic Society
Abstract: As a result of Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, dynamics in the Middle East are in a state of perilous uncertainty. Israel invaded Gaza, and that war continues to rage, while, at the same time, Israel is fighting Hezbollah on its northern border. Relations between Jerusalem and Washington are also strained, and the International Court of Justice has ruled that a plausible case can be made that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. Meanwhile, the United States engaged in intense shuttle diplomacy with the region’s two major economies: Saudi Arabi and Turkey. The United States, which is already fighting the Houthis, also risks direct confrontation with Iran, which neither country wants, especially on the eve of highly consequential US elections. Given these developments, there is potentially great danger of further escalation across the region. What might be the lasting consequences of these conflicts? What might the impact in the near region, including Cyprus? What do these developments mean for the position and influence of the United States in the region? Where does all this leave the European Union? We discuss these issues with Professor Kristin Fabbe, who has spent two decades researching political and economic dynamics in the Middle East and its surrounding neighborhood.