Escalation in the Middle East

Will there be a conflagration?

Feb 01, 2024 / Vienna / EU Neighbourhood / Global Affairs

On February 1, the Austria Institute for European and Security Policy and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted an event entitled "Escalation in the Middle East - Is it coming to a conflagration?". The expert speakers were Major General Dr. Peter Vorhofer, Head of the Directorate of Defence Policy and International Relations, BMLV and Dr. Walter Posch, Senior Researcher, National Defence Academy (LVAk). Dr. Emil Brix, Director of the Diplomatic Academy, gave the welcoming address. AIES Deputy Director Michael Zinkanell moderated the discussion.

During the event, several important topics were discussed that significantly influence the current dynamics in the Middle East. The Middle East region is characterized by long-standing conflicts and geopolitical tensions, such as between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the US and Iran, while anchor states such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are gaining importance. Economic factors, including the Abraham Accords, play a crucial role in the future of the region, with Egypt's economic crisis and Israel's labour market peculiarities standing out. The reorientation of the US towards the Pacific and the growing involvement of external powers such as Russia, China, and Turkey are changing the balance of power and challenges in the region. The "axis of resistance" and Iran's neglect of the Palestinians show the complexity of the political landscape, where the two-state solution for Palestine is at an impasse. Overall, the future of the Middle East is uncertain due to the multi-layered conflicts and alliances.

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