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US-Gulf intellectual events help educate, effective communication

Marcelle Wahba. (Courtesy photo)
WASHINGTON: Arab Gulf intellectual events recently concluded here, attracted a wide range of experts, media figures and officials, reflecting the US interest in listening to Gulf voices in a clear discussion about the region’s issues.
The 11 events, which lasted for two weeks and were held in partnership with think tanks and research centers, dealt with economic reform in the Gulf, effective communication of the US-Gulf relations, the economic dynamics of the US-Gulf relations, progress registered by and challenges facing Gulf women, the fight against terrorism, and the situation in Yemen.
A number of officials, ambassadors and researchers said the activities, which concluded on Friday, provided the necessary educational information to promote understanding and correct misconceptions.
In statements to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), they said that the discussions during these events were fruitful and are bound to help decision makers and those who have leverage over decision makers.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Information for Foreign Media Abdul Mohsen Farouk Elias said there was American interest in the US-Gulf events, reflected in the participation of a large number of American officials and experts.
He stressed that “these events contributed to help the voice of the GCC states be heard regarding the present and future of US-Gulf relations in general or specific issues of importance, such as the Yemeni issue, combating terrorism, the role of Gulf women in society and economic and development issues.”
President of the Gulf Research Center Abdulaziz Othman bin Saqr stressed that holding meetings in important international capitals that are instrumental in forming public opinion is very important.
He pointed out that “the aim of these meetings was to clarify the facts and the false images, and present them as they are, without falsification and distortion, and explaining the reasons and motives.”
Former ambassador and President of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, Marcelle Wahba, said such seminars are an opportunity for people from the Gulf and America to “sit down and talk together, and we hope to receive good reactions from decision makers in the Gulf and in the US.”
“The aim of these events is to educate members of Congress, the media and anyone interested in Middle East politics,” said former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Middle East Policy Council Chairman Ford M. Fraker, stressing the importance of such events to educating both sides on issues of concern.

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