“We have to redraw the old ‘maps’ we have been using to read the Middle East,” IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen told an audience of local diplomats and think tank experts in Seoul, South Korea on Thursday, February 7.
Mr. Rød-Larsen was addressing an ASAN Institute for Policy Studies roundtable meeting on the ongoing challenges in the Middle East entitled “Middle East in Transition: Risks and Opportunities.”
Mr. Rød-Larsen focused on the ongoing civil war in Syria, which he sees as the new epicenter of crisis in the Middle East. “Syria is first of all a tragic humanitarian crisis, but it is also a regional war in which many countries are playing to influence the future of the region,” he said.
With reference to Egypt and Tunisia, the IPI President suggested that the fluidity of the political situation makes any predictions extremely hard. “The main challenge for policy makers today is to live with the uncertainty of the situation,” he said. “The only certainty is that we will see instability for a long time in the region.”