Russia’s Foreign Policy towards South Yemen: Past, Present and Future Perspectives

The Academic Forum Muhammad Ali Luqman cordially invites you to a special public lecture with

Dr. Noel Brehony Chairman of the British Yemeni Society & Author of “Yemen Divided: The Story of a Failed State in South Arabia” (2011) and

Samuel Ramani PhD Candidate in International Relations at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford & Geopolitical Analyst and Commentator

In September 2018, Russian Ambassador to Yemen Vladimir Dedushkin stated openly that South Yemen was an important cause that must be adequately represented in a future peace process for Yemen. As the only Marxist-oriented state in the Middle East and North Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY, South Yemen) pursued strong relations to the Soviet Union. With Yemeni unification in 1990 and the breakdown of the Soviet Union, relations have changed. In the past years, Russia has maintained good relations to different Yemeni factions, i.e. former President Ali Abdallah Salih, the Hadi government, and the Houthis. In March 2019, the President of the Southern Transitional Council, Aydarus al-Zubaydi, accepted an invitation from Moscow to meet state officials. The lecture will explore past relations between the Soviet Union and the PDRY, Russia’s current diplomatic mediation initiatives in South Yemen, as well as Moscow’s position on the current struggle for independence in South Yemen. By investigating Russia’s aspirations of expanding its influence in the Middle East, the lecture will be placed into the context of Moscow’s broader geopolitical objectives in the region of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The lecture will be held in English.

Thursday, 2 May 2019 at 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Workshopraum 1

Veranstaltungszentrum der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

Jägerstraße 22/23

10117 Berlin, Germany

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Speaker Biographies

Dr. Noel Brehony is chairman of the British-Yemeni Society, a council member for the British Foundation for the Study of Arabia and a trustee of the Altajir Foundation. His book on the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, ‘Yemen Divided: The Story of a Failed State in South Arabia’, was published in March 2011. He co-edited ‘Rebuilding Yemen’ (Berlin 2015 and Riyadh 2016) and ‘Hadhramaut and its Diaspora’ (London 2017 and Riyadh 2019). After completing a PhD on Libya, he spent two years on post-doctoral research on the West Bank before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he worked mainly on the Middle East with postings to Kuwait, the PDRY, Jordan and Egypt. He followed events in the PDRY until it became part of the Republic of Yemen in 1990.  He was then Director of Middle East Affairs at Rolls-Royce plc. He was President of the British Society for Middle East Studies (2000-2006) and chairman of the Council for British Research in the Levant (2002-2008 and 2013-16). He is on the advisory board of the London Middle East Institute at SOAS, where he was also a Research Associate (2008-2011).

Samuel Ramani is a DPhil candidate in International Relations at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, researching Russian foreign policy towards the Middle East. He is a geopolitical analyst and commentator, who contributes regularly to the Washington Post, The Diplomat, The National Interest, and Al Monitor. He also writes periodically for major think tanks, like the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the East West Institute, the Russian International Affairs Council, the Valdai Discussion Club, and the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. Samuel has provided expert commentary on international security issues for major broadcast and print media outlets, like CNN, Al Jazeera, Reuters, AFP and Le Monde. He has briefed the NATO Intelligence Fusion Center, U.S. Department of State and the French Ministry of Defense’s IRSEM academy on matters pertaining to Russian foreign policy.

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