Skip to main content

Should the UK support decentralisation in a post-conflict Middle East?

20 January 2017

The International Relations Committee takes evidence from experts at Chatham House and the European Council of Foreign Relations on sub-state actors, decentralisation and the potential for new a US policy in the Middle East.


Wednesday 25 January, Committee Room 4, Palace of Westminster

At 10.30am

  • Hayder Al-Khoei, Visiting Fellow, Middle East and North Africa, European Council of Foreign Relations
  • Haid Haid, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Possible questions

  • The US, UN, UK and EU are currently absent from the Syrian peace process. Do you think this will continue to be the case?
  • Does the UK have any political influence or leverage on the peace process or the future political arrangements for Syria?
  • The spread of sub-state actors, supported by regional powers, across the region is increasingly challenging the writ of central states. How should the UK support Kurdish aspirations in Syria and Iraq?
  • How would you advise the UK to approach the delicate balancing act of supporting Kurdish aspirations whilst managing the opposition of some regional states?
  • How could the UK and other western powers assist the central government of Iraq with its process of decentralisation?
  • In Syria and Iraq, is there scope for support of local actors?
  • How can the UK government and western donors support pockets of good local governance? 
  • How would you speculate that US policy to Iraq and Syria might evolve under a new US president?
  • While it may be impossible to talk to ISIL, how would you advise the UK to approach this question of talking to violent Islamic groups, who may – or may not – be proscribed?

Further information

Image: iStockphoto