Fundamental shifts in the Gulf monarchies’ foreign and domestic policymaking bear direct implications for their engagement in Tunisia. As a consequence, Tunis no longer plays a relevant role in the Gulf’s political-economic-security nexus. Despite Saudi Arabia’s and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s public support for President Kais Saïed and his authoritarian bent, the Gulf’s focus has shifted from North Africa toward other hotspots in order to preserve power projection in times of rising global multipolarism.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed comments on the MENA region's most significant issues and trends. Today, we focus on the visit that Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan paid to Tehran, where together with Iranian President Raisi, they discussed the Ukraine war and the Syrian conflict.
When Kais Saïed was elected President of the Republic of Tunisia in 2019, he had just run his campaign on a programme of institutional reform aimed at solving, once and for all, the political crisis that the country is still going through.
Tunisia’s 2011-2021 decade can be summarised as follows: the introduction of democracy, the fall of a semi-socialist state, the deterioration of citizens’ economic conditions, the rise (and fall) of terrorism, and the Covid-19 pandemic. People, however, tend to forget about democracy and focus only on the negative aspects. As such, a new narrative is gaining ground: the crisis started in January 2011, when demonstrations against President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali intensified -and never ended.
Tunisia is currently hurtling towards both economic collapse and political instability. As the country prepares to vote on a constitutional referendum on July 25th, President Kais Saïed has failed to address nearly all the economic challenges facing Tunisia. Since his self-coup nearly a year ago, Saïed has focused on consolidating political power into his hands rather than lowering unemployment, reducing the budget deficit, or addressing inflation.
One of the most striking differences between Tunisia’s current transition back to autocracy and its difficult transition to an imperfect democracy between 2011 and 2014 is the role of the international community and the United States (US) in particular. The US and its Western allies, together with the European Union (EU), the United Nations, and the World Bank, supported the country’s transition to democracy.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed insights on the most significant developments within the MENA region, bringing together unique opinions on the topic and reliable foresight on possible future scenarios. Today, we place the spotlight upon Joe Biden's first trip to the Middle East as the American head of State, specificly aimed at re-orienting the US’ engagement with its traditional key allies.
Biden arriva in Medio Oriente per una delle visite più complicate della sua amministrazione: tra mine vaganti, polemiche e un inaspettato ‘fuoco amico’.
Non sarà il normale viaggio di un presidente americano in Medio Oriente: tre giorni, due paesi e di nuovo a Washington, ai dossier sull'Ucraina, l'inflazione e la benzina oltre i 5 dollari al gallone. In quei quattro giorni (13-16 luglio) e nei due paesi (Israele e Arabia Saudita) Joe Biden cercherà di raggiungere numerosi obiettivi, incontrerà molti leader e, soprattutto, tenterà di dare alla regione prima produttrice al mondo d'idrocarburi e conflitti, un sistema di cooperazione e sicurezza collettiva.
A un anno dallo strappo del presidente Kais Saied la Tunisia è chiamata ad approvare una nuova Costituzione. Ma in molti temono che la nuova Carta possa allontanare il paese dalla democrazia.
The war in Ukraine is further diverting US attention from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where Russia and China have expanded their footprint over the past decade. US President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s upcoming visit to the Middle East—his first since he took office—provides an opportunity to assess the kind of role the United States will play in the MENA region in the future. The big question is whether the region is entering a post-US era and how the new regional order will be structured.