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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

Apr 26, 2018

MEI’s Gonul Tol and Amb. Robert Pearson join Paul Salem to discuss the domestic political scene heading into Turkey’s snap presidential and parliamentary elections in early June and the state of its relations with the United States after the departure of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and pending arrival of...

Apr 19, 2018

Amb. Robert Ford and Charles Lister join host Paul Salem to discuss last week’s U.S. airstrikes in Syria in response to the Assad government’s ongoing use of chemical weapons, what the Trump administration is signaling about America’s plans there, and the escalating standoff between Israeli and Iranian forces in...

Apr 12, 2018

The Middle East has withstood a series of major economic shocks over the past decade, and growth is slowly coming back. But sustained high unemployment, especially among women and youth, will continue to put strain on the region’s economic prospects. Jihad Azour, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department...

Apr 5, 2018

The leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey held a high-profile summit in Ankara this week, their second such summit in six months. Are we seeing the formation of a new security axis in the region, and if so, where would that leave the United States? MEI’s Gonul Tol and Alex Vatanka join host Paul Salem to discuss.