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Saudi Arabia on the Cusp of Change: Traditions and Future Prospects 7:00-8:30 pm
Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM
Carlyle Great Room
100 3rd Ave.S.
Under a dynamic and forceful young crown prince, Saudi Arabia is embarked on radical new steps in domestic and foreign policy. The jury is still out on the ultimate impact of Mohammed Bin Salman’s ambitious plans for a demographically young yet tradition-bound society. And there is growing concern that the regional rivalry between Iran and a Saudi Arabia in pragmatic cooperation with Israel may be building toward military confrontation. The Trump Administration’s abrupt tilt away from Iran and toward the Saudis, including ongoing support for their campaign in Yemen, adds further volatility to the mix. This program will provide a snapshot of the status quo ante in Saudi Arabia and an analysis of geopolitical trends in the region. It will be based in part on insights and a wide array of images from a visit to the Kingdom in 2016. Speaker Tom Hanson is a former foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State and is currently Diplomat in Residence at the Alworth Institute for International Affairs at the U of M – Duluth.