On Wednesday 12th July, for our last event of our 2022-2023 programme, we were honoured to welcome to GSF, His Excellency Mr. Manar M. Dabbas, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United Kingdom.
He gave a lecture entitled ‘Changing Geopolitics In The Middle East: A Jordanian Perspective’ in an event hosted by GSF’s Chairman, Lord Lothian PC KC DL. The event took place under the Chatham House rule.
Background: Bordering Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria, Jordan sits both geographically and politically at the heart of the Middle East. The country is a key global actor in its politics, economics and security, renowned as a stabilising influence in a turbulent region. The UK has long relied on its close and historic ties with Jordan to navigate the Middle East’s complex dynamics. During his visit to Amman in May, the UK Minister of State, Lord Ahmad, took the opportunity to stress the importance of the strategic partnership between the UK and Jordan, as well as the two countries’ shared goal of promoting regional stability and economic development.
But the geopolitics of the region are shifting: the western sphere of influence is being increasingly challenged as other countries play a greater role. Russia and China are both strengthening their ties across the Middle East in a number of areas, from trade to energy and military cooperation. Last October, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised Russia’s role over the US in mediating peace negotiations, while China notably brokered a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran earlier this year. By contrast, back in January, the US Secretary of State’s Middle East tour aimed at reducing tensions yielded scant progress.
HIS EXCELLENCY MR. MANAR M. DABBAS was appointed as the Jordanian Ambassador to the Court of St. James in September 2021. Prior to that, he served for almost 11 years at the Royal Hashemite Court, including as His Majesty’s Office Director (Chief of Staff) and also as the Director of the Office of the Crown Prince. Most recently, he served as the Private Advisor to His Majesty the King. He also served as the Director of Political Affairs at the Royal Hashemite Court. Prior to that, he was seconded by the Foreign Ministry to serve as an advisor at the Arab Gulf Program (AGFUND) in Riyadh. He also served as the Acting Executive Director of the Government Performance Unit at the Prime Ministry in Jordan, where he played a major role in developing ‘The Jordanian National Agenda’ document. He served as the US and UN Desk Officer at the Foreign Ministry, where he provided policy recommendations to the Minister on US-Jordan relations. He served as the Political and Congressional Counselor at the Jordanian Embassy in Washington DC from 1999 to 2004. He served as the Private Secretary to the Jordanian Prime Minister in 1996. He joined the Foreign Ministry in 1992. He holds an MA in Liberal Studies in International Relations from Georgetown University, as well as an MSc in Political Science and a BSc in Political Science and Economics from the University of Jordan. He received the Medal of Independence for Civil Merit from the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for his efforts in signing the US-Jordan Free Trade Agreement.