Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos

Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos

Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos

Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos (Ph.D. Loughborough University) specializes in media and international relations as well as Chinese affairs. Email: [email protected]

DEBATE: Putin in Power until 2024: What Does it Mean?

Vladimir Putin easily won the recent election in Russia and secured another presidential term. The result cements him as one of the most powerful leaders in modern Russian history, but also poses questions for the day after on both the domestic and the international level. While the US administration has not yet clarified its approach vis-à-vis Russia and the EU remains largely divided, Putin is gaining ground – for example in the Syrian arena– and his popularity remains high at home. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Putin in power until 2024: What does it mean?

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Cyprus, Greece, and Israel Chart a Common Path

Cyprus, Greece, and Israel are steadily building a democratic geopolitical bloc in the Eastern Mediterranean. They are exploring ways to collaborate in fields ranging from energy to communication technology and defense. Greek-American and American-Jewish communities are exploiting the momentum to further boost the developing “triangle” and encourage US support. However, despite progress among the governments and the generally positive climate, warning signs of anti-Semitism in Greece underline the need for grassroots action to combine political achievements with wide public support.

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Trump, Europe, and Iran

US President Donald Trump’s staunch opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran (the JCPOA) has sparked a serious transatlantic rift. The EU is, however, attempting to balance its appetite for business with an examination of security risks. In so doing, it is slowly awakening to Israeli and Sunni Arab sensitivities regarding Tehran’s hegemonic aspirations in the Middle East.

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DEBATE: The US Withdrawal from the JCPOA: Where Do We Go from Here?

Q:   On May 8, 2018, President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. His intention is to impose the highest possible level of economic sanctions on Iran and perhaps sanction other nations that assist Tehran in its quest for nuclear weapons. The “nixing” of the deal might be followed by a “fixing” of the deal. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, where do we go from here?

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DEBATE: Would a Change in Palestinian Authority Leadership Affect the Peace Process?

Q:   In 2005, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Thirteen years later he remains in the position without having held any further elections. While the date of his departure cannot be predicted, scenarios for the new leadership of the PA are already being examined. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Would a change in the PA’s leadership affect the peace process?

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The Future of Greek-Israeli Relations

In July 2010, then Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou visited Jerusalem and met his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. A few weeks later Netanyahu traveled to Athens and held discussions with Papandreou. The long-term significance of those visits could not be acknowledged at that time. But almost eight years later, it is now clear that those talks were a catalyst for the rapprochement that has occurred between two countries that have had a difficult relationship for decades. Greece and Israel are growing ever closer by establishing a strategic partnership and exploring ways to further deepen it.

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DEBATE: How Might the Israeli-Iranian Face-Off in Syria Evolve?

Q:      The recent infiltration of Israeli airspace by an Iranian drone launched from Syria was considered by Jerusalem a severe violation of its sovereignty. In response, Israel conducted a mission to strike the Iranian drone installation in Syria. During that mission, an Israeli F-16 jet crashed. In the aftermath of this incident, Israel – while not wishing to escalate – made clear that it is prepared to act with determination and exact a heavy price from anyone who attacks it. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: How might the Israeli-Iranian face-off in Syria evolve?

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DEBATE: Can Mahmoud Abbas Achieve Anything in Europe?

| March 22, 2018

Following the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by US President Donald Trump, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is counting on the EU to support his cause. In his January 2018 meeting with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, he was assured “of the firm commitment of the EU to the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as shared capital of the two states – the State of Israel and the State of Palestine”. However, it remains questionable whether the EU has the necessary gravitas to play a catalytic political role in the peace process. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Can Mahmoud Abbas achieve anything in Europe?

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DEBATE: What Is the Best Way to Transport Levantine Gas to Europe?

| February 22, 2018

Q:  Energy discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean are changing regional dynamics in the Basin. Key players – principally Cyprus, Egypt, and Israel – are taking steps to achieve energy independence and are exploring opportunities for exports. The EU, which is interested in reducing its energy dependency on Russia, could be a client in the future. BESA joins the debate by asking: How can natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean be better transported to Europe?

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DEBATE: Should US Aid to the Palestinians Be Suspended?

| February 8, 2018

Q: On January 2, 2018, US President Donald Trump threatened to pull funding from the Palestinians with the tweet: “But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” Two weeks later, the US said that it while it remains committed to a voluntary contribution of $60 million to sustain Palestinian schools and health services, it is holding back a further $65 million for reconsideration. BESA joins the debate by posing the question: Should US aid to the Palestinians be suspended?

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