National Council on U.S.-Arab Relatoins

22nd Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference

Navigating Arab-U.S. Relations: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities

October 22 - 23, 2013

Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

2013 CONFERENCE SPONSORS

2013 Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference Sponsors

 

 

 

 

2013 SELECT MEDIA COVERAGE
 

"Planned Syria Peace Talks at Risk" - Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2013

"Saudi Arabia warns of shift away from U.S. over Syria, Iran" - Reuters, October 22, 2013

"Saudi Prince Turki Expresses 'Disappointment' With US Over Syria" - Al-Monitor, October 22, 2013

"Centcom Chief: Middle East Decisions Will Have Wide Impact" - American Forces Press Service, October 22, 2013

"Prince Turki Al Faisal speaks at Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference - 2013" - KSA2, October 22, 2013

"Criticism of United States’ Mideast Policy Increasingly Comes From Allies" - The New York Times, October 23, 2013

"Kerry: Saudi Arabia doesn't trust US policy on Syria" - Al Bawaba, October 23, 2013

"Saudi Arabia's Unhappy. So What?" - Foreign Policy, October 23, 2013

"Kerry: U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia remain close" - CNN Newswire, October 23, 2013

"Saudi Arabia stamps feet at lack of US backing on Syria, Israel" - RT, October 23, 2013

"US Ambassador James Smith ends 4 years in Saudi Arabia, addresses conference" - KSA2, October 23, 2013

"Saudi prince: Lebanon on brink of civil war because of Hezbollah’s role in Syria" - Ya Libnan, October 24, 2013

"Gulf allies losing faith in the US" - Gulf News, October 27, 2013

"How NSA spying allegations are affecting U.S. relationship with allies" - NBC's Meet the Press, October 27, 2013

"Saudi Arabia, Iran And A Region In Flux" - NPR's On Point, October 28, 2013

"Hezbollah blames Saudi Arabia for deadlock, Parliament paralysis" - The Daily Star, October 28, 2013

"Dialogue is the key to peace" - Arab News, October 30, 2013

 

 

 

2013 AUDIO, VIDEO, & TRANSCRIPTS

Jump to a specific session by clicking on the session title in the list immediately below or scroll further down to see the complete program. MP3 audio can also be downloaded through iTunes.

Oct. 22   Oct. 23

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
Mr. David Bosch
Dr. John Duke Anthony

COPING WITH KALEIDOSCOPIC CHANGE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Ambassador (Ret.) Chas Freeman

U.S.-ARAB ENERGY COOPERATION
Dr. Herman Franssen
Ms. Sarah Ladislaw
Mr. Kevin Book 
Ambassador (Ret.) Thomas Graham
Dr. Shihab Kuran
Ms. Randa Fahmy Hudome

KEYNOTE ADDRESS
HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal

KEYNOTE ADDRESS
General Lloyd Austin III

U.S.-ARAB DEFENSE COOPERATION
Mr. Christopher Blanchard
Mr. David Des Roches
Mr. Robert Sharp
Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith

GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL: ROLE IN REGIONAL DYNAMICS
Dr. John Duke Anthony
Mr. Jason Buntin
Dr. Abdullah AlShayji
Dr. Ken Katzman
Mr. Michael Buonvino
Ambassador Richard Schmierer

 


IRAQ-U.S. RELATIONS: A VIEW FROM BAGHDAD
H.E. Ambassador Lukman Faily

ARAB-U.S. RELATIONS: A VIEW FROM THE LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES
H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammed Alhussaini Alsharif

THE PALESTINIAN FUTURE
H.E. Ambassador Maen Areikat
Dr. Thomas Mattair
Mr. Bill Corcoran
Mr. Chris McGrath
Ms. Leila Hilal

GEO-POLITICAL DYNAMICS: SYRIA, LEBANON, IRAQ, & IRAN
Dr. John Iskander
Dr. Trita Parsi
Dr. Judith Yaphe
Dr. Bassam Haddad
Dr. David Lesch
Dr. Michael C. Hudson

REMARKS ON MODEL ARAB LEAGUE

HRH Prince Abdulmajeed Bin Abdulilah bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud

KEYNOTE ADDRESS
HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud
Ambassador (Ret.) James Smith

U.S.-ARAB BUSINESS, FINANCE, AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Ambassador (Ret.) Ford Fraker
Ambassador (Ret.) Patrick Theros
Mr. Ken Close
Ms. Nahlah Al-Jubeir
Mr. Nathan Regan
Ambassador (Ret.) Dr. Rene Leon

GEO-POLITICAL DYNAMICS: EGYPT & ARAB NORTH AFRICA
H.E. Ambassador Mohamed M. Tawfik
Ms. Elizabeth Wossen 
Dr. Paul Sullivan 
Mr. Karim Haggag 
Ms. Alexis Arieff 
Dr. Nejib Ayachi

ARAB-U.S. RELATIONS: VIEWS FROM THE MEDIA
Dr. Andrew Parasiliti
Commodore (Ret.) Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
Mr. Steven Clemons


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

9:00 - 9:15 am: WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS

Speakers:

Mr. David Bosch - Chairman, Board of Directors, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

Dr. John Duke Anthony - Founding President and CEO, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and author, inter alia, of Arab States of the Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum; Historical and Cultural Dictionary of the Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates of Eastern Arabia; and The United Arab Emirates: Dynamics of State Formation.

 

9:15 - 10:00 am: COPING WITH KALEIDOSCOPIC CHANGE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Speaker:

Ambassador Chas Freeman - Chairman of the Board, Projects International, Inc., a Washington, D.C.−based development firm specializing in international joint ventures, acquisitions, and other business operations for its American and foreign clients; former President, Middle East Policy Council; former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (1993-94), earning the Department of Defense’s highest public service awards for his roles in designing a NATO-centered post-Cold War security system and in reestablishing defense and military relations with China; former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm); Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the U.S. mediation of Namibian independence from South Africa and Cuban troop withdrawal from Angola; and author, Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige; America’s Misadventures in the Middle East; The Diplomat’s Dictionary (Revised Edition); and Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy.

 

10:00 - 11:30 am: U.S.-ARAB ENERGY COOPERATION
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Chair:

Ms. Randa Fahmy Hudome - President, Fahmy Hudome International; General Counsel, American Egyptian Strategic Alliance; former Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy; Member, Board of Directors, National Council on U.S-Arab Relations.

Speakers:

Dr. Herman Franssen - Executive Director, Energy Intelligence Group; former Senior Associate, Energy and National Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Ms. Sarah Ladislaw - Co-Director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Mr. Kevin Book - Co-Founder and Head of Research, ClearView Energy Partners, LLC; Senior Associate, Energy and National Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Member, National Petroleum Council.

Ambassador Thomas Graham - Executive Chairman, Board of Directors, Lightbridge Corporation; Member, International Advisory Board, United Arab Emirates; former U.S. diplomat.

Dr. Shihab Kuran - President, SunEdison Advanced Solutions.

 

12:00 - 2:00 pm: LUNCHEON & KEYNOTE ADDRESS
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT (.pdf)

Speaker:

HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal - Chairman, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; former Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United Kingdom and to the United States of America; former Director General, General Intelligence Directorate, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

2:00 - 2:30 pm: KEYNOTE ADDRESS
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Speaker:

General Lloyd Austin III - Commander, United States Central Command; former Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army; former Commander, U.S. Forces-Iraq (from September 2010 through completion of mission in December 2011); former Director, Joint Staff, Pentagon.

 

2:30 - 4:00 pm: U.S.-ARAB DEFENSE COOPERATION
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Chair:

Mr. Christopher Blanchard - Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.

Speakers:

Mr. David Des Roches - Associate Professor and Senior Military Fellow, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University; National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Malone Fellow in Arab and Islamic Studies.

Mr. Robert Sharp - Assistant Professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University.

Commentators:

Dr. Janet Breslin-Smith - former Professor of National Security Strategy and Chair of the Department of National Security Strategy, National War College.

 

4:00 - 5:30 pm: GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL: ROLE IN REGIONAL DYNAMICS
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Chair:

Dr. John Duke Anthony

Speakers:

Mr. Jason Buntin - Director for Europe and Middle East Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Dr. Abdullah AlShayji - Chairman, Department of Political Science, Kuwait University; author, Kuwait's Ceaseless Quest for Survival in a Hostile Environment.

Dr. Ken Katzman - Specialist in Middle East Affairs in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.

Mr. Michael Buonvino - Vice President for Global Development, Hill International.

Ambassador Richard Schmierer - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Near East Affairs, U.S. Department of State; former U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman.

 

6:00 - 8:00 pm: RECEPTION AT THE ROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA

 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

9:00 - 9:15 am: KEYNOTE ADDRESS
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT (.pdf)

Speaker:

H.E. Ambassador Lukman Faily - Ambassador of Iraq to the United States; former Ambassador of Iraq to Japan.

 

9:15 - 9:30 am: KEYNOTE ADDRESS
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Speaker:

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohammed Alhussaini Alsharif - Chief Representative of the League of Arab States to the United States; former Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Canada and Turkey; former Head of the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Houston.

 

9:30 - 11:00 am: THE PALESTINIAN FUTURE
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Chair:

Dr. Thomas Mattair - Executive Director, Middle East Policy Council; former Research Scholar, Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research; author, The Three Occupied UAE Islands: The Tunbs and Abu Musa and Global Security Watch — Iran: A Reference Handbook.

Speakers:

H.E. Ambassador Maen Areikat - Chief Representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to the United States; former Deputy Head and Coordinator-General of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Mr. Bill Corcoran - President and CEO of ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid); former Vice President, Child Fund International.

Mr. Chris McGrath - Senior Liaison Officer and Acting Head of the Washington Representative Office, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); former Communications Strategist for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Ms. Leila Hilal – Director, Middle East Task Force, New America Foundation; former Senior Policy Adviser to the Commissioner-General of UNRWA.

 

11:00 am - 12:30 pm: GEO-POLITICAL DYNAMICS: SYRIA, LEBANON, IRAQ, & IRAN
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Chair:

Dr. John Iskander - Chair, Near East and North Africa Area Studies, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State.

Speakers:

Dr. Trita Parsi - Founder and President, National Iranian American Council; author A Single Roll of the Dice - Obama's Diplomacy with Iran and Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States.

Dr. Judith Yaphe - Distinguished Research Fellow for the Middle East, Institute for National Strategic Studies; Adjunct Professor in the Elliott School, George Washington University; former senior analyst in the office of Near Eastern and South Asian Analysis, Directorate of Intelligence, CIA.

Dr. Bassam Haddad - Director, Middle East Studies Program and Assistant Professor, Department of Public and International Affairs, George Mason University; Co-Founder/Editor, Jadaliyya Ezine; Visiting Professor, Georgetown University; author, Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience.

Dr. David Lesch - Professor of Middle East History, Trinity University; author, The Fall of the House of Assad, The Arab – Israeli Conflict: A History, and The New Lion of Damascus: Bashar al-Asad and Modern Syria.

Dr. Michael C. Hudson - Director, Middle East Institute and Professor of Political Science at National University of Singapore; former Director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Professor of International Relations, and Seif Ghobash Professor of Arab Studies, Georgetown University.

 

1:00 - 2:30 pm: LUNCHEON & KEYNOTE ADDRESS
VIDEO VIDEO - HRH Prince Abdulmajeed
VIDEO VIDEO - HRH Prince Abdulaziz & Ambassador Smith
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO - HRH Prince Abdulmajeed (.mp3)
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO - HRH Prince Abdulaziz & Ambassador Smith (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT - HRH Prince Abdulaziz & Ambassador Smith

Remarks on Model Arab League:

HRH Prince Abdulmajeed bin Abdulilah bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud – Student, Northeastern University.

Introduction of Speaker:

HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Sa'ud – Member, International Advisory Committee, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; Honorary President, Website Services and Internet Technology of the Gulf Cooperation Council; former Chairman, Arab Open University Forum.

Speaker:

Ambassador James Smith - Senior Counselor, The Cohen Group; former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

2:30 - 4:00 pm: U.S.-ARAB BUSINESS, FINANCE, AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Chair:

Ambassador Ford Fraker - former Senior Adviser and Chairman for the Middle East and North Africa Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.; former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Speakers:

Ambassador Patrick Theros - Executive Director, U.S.-Qatar Business Council; former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar.

Mr. Ken Close - Founder and CEO, Quincy International; former Senior Policy Advisor to HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal.

Ms. Nahlah Al-Jubeir - Director, Center for Career Development, Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission; former Deputy Director for Financial and Administrative Affairs, Saudi Health Mission in Washington, DC.

Mr. Nathan Regan – Country Manager for the United States, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Commentator:

Ambassador Dr. Rene Leon - Economic Growth Consultant, Creative Associates International; former Ambassador of El Salvador to the U.S.

 

4:00 - 5:30 pm: GEO-POLITICAL DYNAMICS: EGYPT & ARAB NORTH AFRICA
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Chair:

Ms. Elizabeth Wossen - Principal and Lead Consultant, Energy Links Group LLC; former Coordinator, Congressional and Government Relations, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation; Member, Board of Directors, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

Speakers:

Dr. Paul Sullivan - Professor of Economics, Eisenhower School, National Defense University; Adjunct Professor, Security Studies, Georgetown University; Columnist, Turkiye Gazetesi, Istanbul, Turkey.

Mr. Karim Haggag - Visiting Professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University; former Director, Egyptian Press and Information Office in Washington, DC.

Ms. Alexis Arieff - Analyst on Africa and the Maghreb, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.

Commentators:

H.E. Ambassador Mohamed M. Tawfik - Ambassador of Egypt to the United States.

Dr. Nejib Ayachi - Founder and President, Maghreb Center.

 

5:30 - 6:30 pm: ARAB-U.S. RELATIONS: VIEWS FROM THE MEDIA
VIDEO VIDEO
MP3 AUDIO AUDIO (.mp3)
TRANSCRIPT TRANSCRIPT

Chair:

Dr. Andrew Parasiliti - Editor & CEO, Al-Monitor; former Executive Director, International Institute for Strategic Studies-US and Corresponding Director, IISS-Middle East; former Foreign Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel.

Speakers:

Commodore (Ret.) Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – Columnist, Arab News and Al Yaum; Retired Commodore, Royal Saudi Navy.

Mr. Steven Clemons – Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic; Founder, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation; Publisher, The Washington Note.