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COVID-19 & Regional Relations

COVID-19 and Regional Relations

The Middle East Studies Forum invite you to the webinar ‘COVID-19 and Regional Relations’ presented by Professor Abdullah Baabood from the National University of Singapore.

As the Coronavirus pandemic shocks the globe, reaction to the pandemic in the Gulf area raises some interesting observations and contrasting views.

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia accused Iran for the spread of the COVID-19 in the region because most of the reported cases were said to have contracted the virus during visits to Iran blaming Tehran of failing to stamp their passports. Other Gulf Cooperation Council States (GCC), on the other hand, extended humanitarian support to Iran.

The role of United Arab Emirates (UAE) is of particular interest which could indicate an increasing rift between Abu Dhabi’s traditional alliance with Saudi Arabia, and shows how the UAE seeks to use the regional coronavirus outbreak to increase its own influence.

Will such contrasting strategies open the door for humanitarian diplomacy and or further alter the Middle East’s future geopolitical power balance?

You can access the event flyer here.

Speaker bio:

Abdullah Baabood is currently a visiting professor at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore and he has previously held the positions of the Director of the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University and the Director of the Gulf Research Center at the University of Cambridge, UK.


23 April 2020
Melbourne 3pm GMT +10 hours
Singapore 1pm GMT +8 hours
Please join us via *Zoom

Please RSVP to by 20 April 2020

*Attendees will be provided with a Zoom link and password to access the webinar via a calendar invite on the 22 April 2020