Franco-British council: The Arab Spring – one year on
I was a participant in the following seminar discussing the Arab Spring one year on.
This seminar, chaired by Renaud Girard and David French, brought together key parliamentarians, academics, and journalists to review the current crisis. These included Myriam Francois-Cerrah and former Minister Catherine Colonna shown here .
A discussion took place on the social and economic roots of the Arab Spring, including the collusion of public and private interests, dramatic rises in food prices, youth unemployment, and extreme socio-economic inequality. It was agreed that the economic situation in Arab countries is deteriorating at great speed like in any revolution and this could prove disastrous if it continues.
The question was raised of whether the West should attach conditions to the money we give to the Arab world in order to ensure that promotion of economic growth is accompanied by promotion of good governance
It was suggested that public opinion in the UK (and France) would not support full-scale military intervention in Syria, and it is therefore dangerous to suggest that these countries can and should intervene. What we are looking at is most likely going to be civil war and the solution can only be internal, not external. A full report of the seminar is available, as well as a short summary here.