Looking Forward:

Assessing Conflict Trajectories in the Middle East

May 22, 2024

Wednesday, May 22, 2024
6:30 pm AST - 8:00 pm AST
Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel, Al Areen Grand Ballroom 5 & 6, Doha Qatar


Prior to Israel’s ongoing offensive on Gaza, the Middle East appeared to undergo a period of de-escalation marked by the historic Saudi-Iran peace deal, in 2023, normalization with Assad, intra-Gulf rapprochement, and reduced tensions across conflict zones in the region. Despite these expansive efforts, Israel’s post-October 7 military offensive considerably shifted the course of de-escalation across the region.

While regional powers, including Qatar, Egypt, and Türkiye, continue their mediation attempts, they have thus far not been able to establish a durable resolution. Instead, rising Iran-Israel tensions, the looming invasion of Rafah and its consequent regional implications, and the mobilization of the “Axis of Resistance” are now re-shaping the future of de-escalation prospects in the Middle East.

To explore the future trajectories of conflict in the region, the Middle East Council on Global Affairs (ME Council), in collaboration with the Middle East Institute (MEI), hosted a public panel discussion. Experts exploreed regional de-escalation and conflict resolution efforts amidst the war on Gaza. The discussion assessed what the post-October 7 landscape might entail and the role of regional powers, including the Gulf states and Iran, in resolving regional conflicts. It also explored regional powers’ role in securing Palestinian statehood and how to prevent a return to the pre-October 7 status quo.



Huda Abu Arqoub
Independent Consultant
Hassan Ahmadian
Assistant Professor, West Asian Studies, University of Tehran
Nonresident Fellow
Hafsa Halawa
Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute