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Author: Alistair Davison

This workshop convened 12 parties from 7 different countries across the MENA region, together with a representative from an evangelical Christian group from the US, further developed the themes discussed at the previous workshops, and was conducted under the Chatham House Rule. It took place against a background which has deteriorated in many countries of the region especially since the military intervention in Egypt of July 2013. The return across the region of elements associated with the former regimes has caused significant disillusion, particularly among the youth. In the absence of opportunities for meaningful political participation, a significant number have opted to join violent extremist groups, notably ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and the contagion of violence risks spreading further.