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Middle East Focus is a weekly podcast featuring talk and analysis on U.S. foreign policy, contemporary political and social issues in the Middle East, and the arts and culture of region. It is produced by the Middle East Institute, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C. For more information visit

Jul 3, 2024

On July 9-11, Washington will host the leaders of NATO’s 32 member states for a special anniversary summit, celebrating 75 years since the Alliance’s founding. But the NATO heads of state and government are unlikely to spend much time reminiscing. Their agenda will be full, spanning from Ukraine, Russia, wars in the Middle East, China, terrorism, cyber threats, NATO enlargement, boosting Allied capabilities, freedom of navigation around the world, nuclear deterrence, and more.

On the eve of the Washington Summit, Iulia-Sabina Joja (Director, MEI's Black Sea Program) and Emiliano Alessandri (Non-resident scholar, MEI) join host Matthew Czekaj to discuss security in the wider Black Sea region, and NATO’s policy toward the Middle East and Africa.