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Lords explore issue of political reform in the Middle East


On Wednesday 7 December the Lords International Relations Committee will ask Middle East experts for their views on whether major powers should pursue political reform in the region.

The Committee will take evidence from Dr Richard Haass, a former adviser to President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as putting questions to two other experienced commentators on the region, about Donald Trump's apparent lack of interest in interventionist policies, among other issues.

The Committee will also cover the UK's changing role in relation to Iran and Iraq, and the potential of a deal with President Assad of Syria.

At 2.30pm Dr Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations will give evidence. This will be via videoconference.

Then at 3:30pm the Committee will hear from Mr Paul Danahar, Former BBC Middle East Correspondent, BBC, and Mr Nicolas Pelham, Middle East Affairs Correspondent, The Economist.

Questions which will be put the witnesses could include:

  • What are the implications of a US president prioritising the fight against ISIS?
  • Do you detect a trend towards non-interventionism in the Middle East?
  • What does this mean for the future of the region?
  • How should the UK respond to this trend?
  • Could the UK act as a mediator between Iran and other regional/global powers?
  • Is the UK vision of a stable post-war Iraqi regime realistic?

The sessions will start at 2.30pm on Wednesday 7 December, and be held in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords.

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