The recent disintegration of state order and the increase in crises and conflicts have had a decisive impact on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Violent conflicts have erupted in many parts of the region: in the Levant (Iraq/Syria), on the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen), as well as in North Africa (Libya). The "classic" Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestine remains unresolved. In addition, there are conflicts taking place within national borders. The FES seeks to contribute to a better understanding between the various actors and thus to a peaceful settlement of the prevailing disputes.
The MENA region — more than any other in the world— lacks institutions that involve all regional actors to inclusively address the security issues that arise. The most recent downgrading of the United States’ presence in the region, as well as the appearance of certain outside actors, plus more assertive foreign policy stances taken by various regional powers pose a challenge to regional security. The political reality remains strongly marked by rivalries, mutual mistrust, and violent behaviour. Without institutions, regional security policy is perceived as a zero-sum game.
With its Regional Peace and Security Project, based in Beirut, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) aims to support and promote the development and establishment of an inclusive regional security architecture. With its exclusive connection to German security policy actors inside the administrative and political framework, as well as its extensive network throughout the MENA region, the FES can serve as a platform and — if desired — as a mediator. The aim is to initiate constructive dialogues in various formats, based on mutual respect, which bring together policymakers, researchers, and young professionals from diverse backgrounds.