The Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East & Africa (CAMEA) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) hosted a Panel Discussion on ‘Biden’s Foreign Policy Approach towards Middle East’ on February 18, 2021. The panel of experts included: Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, Director, Afghanistan and Pakistan Studies, Middle East Institute; Dr. Hassan Abbas, Distinguished Professor, NESA, National Defense University, USA & author of ‘The Prophet’s Heir: The Life of Ali ibn Abi Talib’; Dr. Nazir Hussain, Former Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, QAU and Ms. Fatima Raza, Research Associate, CAMEA, ISSI.
Director CAMEA, Ms. Amina Khan opened the panel discussion by stating that former US President Donald Trump’s tenure in office has been quite tumultuous and unpredictable to say the least. The past four years have not just been turbulent for US domestic politics but have also created new challenges for American foreign policy in regions across the globe, including the Middle East which occupies a special place in the US foreign policy calculus and was the main focus of today’s discussion. While the new administration has announced a ‘reset’ in America’s foreign policy, indicating its desire to re-assess and repair alliances, re-join abandoned multilateral agreements, as well as focus on the protection of human rights as an essential component of its foreign policy in the Middle East, it will be interesting to see how this ‘reset’ will impact countries within the Middle East.