(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM))
DUBAI, 12th December, 2017 (WAM) – Former French President Francois Hollande and former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates shared their predictions on key issues facing the world in 2018 in a session themed 'The State of the World Geopolitics in 2018' that concluded the Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai today.
Moderated by Becky Anderson, Managing Editor and Anchor at CNN Abu Dhabi, the discussion explored a host of military and political issues. Topics related to the Middle East included the Palestine issue and the defeat of Daesh.
On the global level, the veteran politicians addressed the situation in Europe in the run-up to Brexit. Holland said: "The EU and the question of Brexit will result in an opportunity for creating a stronger European policy, and better defense coordination. The Franco- German relationship will be especially critical in this new order."
Gates pointed out: "The outcome of Brexit will be more painful than expected".
Hollande said: "Daesh has been destroyed and it will have lots of difficulty in re-establishing its presence in areas where it has already been defeated. Its capacity in France has largely been compromised or eliminated. But individuals still carry out attacks and these can take place anywhere, so we need a high level of vigilance and protection in countries under threat of a terrorist attack."
Speaking about US President Donald Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Gates said: "The decision was ill-advised and it hurts broader strategy in a sense that the administration was seen to be devoting time and resources on both sides of this issue."