On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, a Norwegian delegation paid a visit to the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Doha. The delegation consisted of Mr. Audun Wiig and Mr. Kåre Annaniassen, advisors to the Norwegian government, accompanied by Mr. Per Oystein Vatne, councilor and deputy head of the Royal Norwegian Mission in Abu Dhabi. The delegation met with a number of researchers at the Center for a discussion session in which opinions were exchanged regarding recent events in the region. The session was led by Dr. Abd-al-Wahab Al-Qassab, coordinator of the Strategic Program at the Center. After welcoming the guests, Dr. Al-Qassab delivered a brief presentation titled "The strategic scene in the Arab Gulf in relation to the recent events". During his presentation, Dr. Al-Qassab pointed to various potentialities and scenarios regarding the ongoing regional tensions, as well as threats and counter-threats of war; he also questioned the reliability of American guarantees for the security of Gulf Cooperation Council states.
Following the conclusion of the presentation, it was the turn of Mr. Per Oystein Vatne, who thanked the Center for providing the opportunity for an exchange of views and emphasized his country's interest in the region, especially given Norway's status as oil exporter, which means that events in the Gulf can carry significant domestic impact. He also affirmed that he and his colleagues had come to meet the Center's researchers and listen to their analyses, expressing his appreciation for their efforts. This was followed by a question-and-answer session between the Norwegian delegation and several members of the Center, including Dr. Al-Qassab, Dr. Sayyar al-Jamil, Dr. Huda Hawa, Dr. Hichem al-Karoui, Mr. Zuheir Hamidi, and Mr. Hamza al-Mustafa.
The discussion involved issues relating to the Iranian nuclear file, the possible outbreak of war, and the potential repercussions on the region, in addition to the matter of the expansion of the GCC and potential reactions to this proposal. The discussion also touched on the role of the GCC in Yemen, that of the Arab League in Syria, and to issues relating to regional security. The Center's researchers took turns answering the inquiries of the guests. Dr. Sayyar al-Jamil (Director of the Research Department) closed the proceedings by thanking the guests and the attendees on behalf of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies.