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Qatar-Turkey: The Strategic Vision for Middle East Crises

GCSP Chief Operating Officer General (Retd) Philippe Meyer attended the fifth annual Doha International Policies and Strategies Forum this year, representing the GCSP as one of the few European centres invited to attend.

This year's conference was titled "Qatar-Turkey: The Strategic Vision for Middle East Crises," co-organised by the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies and the Strategic Studies Center in Doha. 

The conference touched on the increased political, military and economic partnership between the two countries. Conference-goers grappled with key questions, such as how can a balance be created between major rivals in the region? Are Arab States currently dissonant because of selfish or opportunistic interests? How can key actors deal with the phenomenon of community and state militarisation? What are countries' strategic views to counter regional instability while protecting themselves? And, perhaps most importantly, how can the world sustain a secure and peaceful coexistence among multinational, sectarian or different ideological groups? Institutional and academic experts addressed all these different questions and more, with some personally addressing the idea of a nuclear Turkey, or a Turkey leaving NATO to become a so-called "neutral Turkey."

One major output from the conference was the recognition that Turkey and the Gulf States, specifically Qatar, can benefit from extended cooperation. Speakers warned against the dangers of relying only on the military, instead of social channels, to address issues related to terrorism and other key concerns. Strategic dialogue between invested stakeholders is necessary, with leaders producing creative and innovative solutions to insure that a post-Islamic State era is not worse than the turmoil we know today.