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The Chatham House Istanbul Roundtable was created in 2010, one year prior to the Arab Spring, to explore developments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. No one at that time could have anticipated the collapse of republican presidencies in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya; the civil war in Syria; the implosion of Iraq; or the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Today, the reality in the region is increasingly complex, messy, and unpredictable. This article presents a summary of the Chatham House’s fifth annual Istanbul Roundtable to examine the dynamic changes sweeping the MENA region, the implications of ISIL’s emergence in Syria and Iraq, and the long-term prospects for democracy and economic prosperity in the region.

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Foreword Following the violent dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, there had been a shared sense of hope for a more peaceful future for the European continent. Unfortunately, this comfortability disappeared after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to march against the Ukrainian forces throughout the border on 24 February 2022. This marked a turning point not only for the...
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