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This report makes available a unique vade mecum to the four interwoven crises of the Middle East – Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Al Qaeda and the general plight of the Arab world. The point of the image of Rubik's Cube is to stress the need for a coherent vision for all three regions of the Wider Middle East (Maghreb, Mashreq and the Gulf), for all three major vectors of policy (politics, economics and security), and for all three major external participants (the US, Europe and the international organisations). The report calls for a comprehensive regional initiative for the Wider Middle East. The first-best solution would be the adoption of a convergent strategy towards the Wider Middle East by the EU and US together. A US policy that saw unilateral war against Iraq, and left the Israeli-Arab conflict still festering, would mean counterproductive effects for the fight against Al Qaeda and huge damage to Western-Islamic relations as well as to the transatlantic alliance. The EU must also be prepared to strengthen both the 'carrots' and the 'sticks' in its policies in the region in any case.

Publisher: Centre for European Policy Studies

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