Skip to main content

How can UK assist political reforms and stability across the Middle East?

11 January 2017

The International Relations Committee takes evidence from International NGOs and leading Turkish professor on political reform, engagement, and organisation across the Middle East.


Wednesday 11 January, Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster

At 10.30am

  • Rebecca Crozier, Middle East and North Africa Programme Manager, International Alert
  • Philip Luther, Middle East Research and Advocacy Director, Amnesty International
  • Tim Holmes, Middle East Regional Director, Oxfam

At 11.30am

  • Professor Umut Ozkirimli, Professor of Political Science, Lund University (Sweden) and Senior Fellow, Sabanci University (Turkey)

Possible questions

  • Where in the region do your organisations find it most conducive and open to working with young people? In these countries, what strategies have been proven to be successful to engage with young people in the region?
  • In relatively stable countries like Tunisia, Morocco and Lebanon, where there has been some progress in political reform, how can the UK most effectively support these gains and empower the moderate reforms?
  • What areas of reform do you advise the UK to prioritise in these countries?
  • Many witnesses have informed us that security and stability is the priority in the current context, particularly as many regimes would be unwilling to engage with political reform. In such instances, what role can the UK play?
  • The UK Government has been criticised for its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain but it does have relationships which are significant. How would you advise the UK Government to balance the tensions of its security alliances with these countries well as concerns about human rights abuses?
  • What further steps could the UK Government take to reassure you that it has a rigorous procedure in place to scrutinise arms sales to the region?
  • How would you assess the health of UK-Turkish relations? What relationship does the Turkish administration seek with the UK and what role does it envisage the UK should play in the Middle East?
  • What domestic factors are driving Turkey's foreign policy in the Middle East and what are the likely consequences for Turkey's orientation towards Europe or NATO?
  • Turkey and Russia have been on different sides of the conflict in Syria and yet were able to compartmentalise their differences and come to an agreement. In Syria, how enduring is this alliance and what are likely to be Turkey's red-lines on both the ceasefire and the future political arrangements for Syria?

Further information

Image: iStockphoto