The Middle East needs radical agricultural transformation

The Middle East needs radical agricultural transformation

The region is facing a triple challenge: Emerging climate patterns herald a future where water resources lie below sustainable levels; rapid population growth is threatening to imperil food security; and over reliance on oil is curtailing governments’ ability to act. The situation requires new thinking on sustainability, scalable technological adoption and radical agricultural transformation.

Russia’s role in the Middle East: a stabilizing force?

Russia’s role in the Middle East: a stabilizing force?

Russia has successfully leveraged its influence in Syria to become an important, if not central, power broker in the Middle East. Nowhere was that more visible than in the meeting between the Israeli, US and Russian national security advisors in Jerusalem at the end of June 2019. While nothing concrete emerged from the talks, it was clear from the security chiefs’ statements that all three countries are setting the stage to stabilize the region, drawing a line under the tectonic shifts that have transformed the Middle East in the last decade.

Iranian VP in Damascus

Iranian VP in Damascus

As Assad forces have reclaimed the majority of Syria, the issue of reconstruction is brought to the table by countries such as China, Iran, Turkey and Russia. Increasingly, Arab states which excluded Syria from the Arab League in 2011 are considering investing in Syria to tone down Iranian influence in the Levantine country, but their financial involvement are likely to be directed toward non-Assad territories and assigned to strictly humanitarian purposes.