Diplomatic Negotiations

Sent On: 
Mon, 2019-11-25
Newsletter Number: 

Prof. Dr. Sami Faltas at the Center for Arab-West Understanding (CAWU). 04-11-2019

From left to right: Prof. Faltas, Veronica Merlo, Madeleine Hall (interns), Kent Blaeser (database manager) and Cornelis Hulsman (director)


The Center for Arab-West Understanding loves to receive visiting (emeritus) professors and experts for meetings with our student interns. I got to know Professor Dr. Sami Faltas during an Egyptian multi-party visit I organized to the Netherlands in October 2012. In May 2012 he had become professor of international relations at the University of Groningen and fellow of the Center for European Security Studies (Welcome to CESS). Prof. Faltas (1950) was born in Egypt but lives since 1962 in the Netherlands. Prof. Faltas has a large international experience. In 1998 he joined the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC), Germany, where he was responsible for research and education about small weapons and peace building after violent conflicts.


Prof. Faltas is specialized in civil-military relations, security-sector reform (SSR), political negotiations and Middle Eastern studies. He retired in October 2015 and is currently freelancing as an adviser or trainer on SSR, good governance, gender and political negotiations. Prof. Faltas loves working with students and thus when he informed me that he would like to visit our center during his holiday in Egypt I asked him to address our students, to which he agreed.


Our Center is all about peace building and creating mutual understanding between peoples of different cultures and religions. It was therefore fitting that Prof. Faltas explained how professional negotiations work. He used the example of a hypothetical Christian state with a Muslim state as neighbour where the Christian state wanted their ambassador to work on trade relations but the Muslim state was holding off. All human beings are engaging daily in negotiations but in professional negotiations the parties at stake prepare themselves well in order to secure for them the most favourable outcome. Prof. Faltas then moved to the more specific analysis of major challenges in the negotiation process such as misunderstandings. Veronica Merlo wrote a report that can be found here.


Veronica earlier produced an excellent report about a presentation of Dr. Richard Gauvain of the British University in Egypt about Conflict Resolution in Arab-Islamic Settings. Please see our report of September 29 about this.


We gave Prof. Faltas full access to our database and asked for his feedback. He wrote “It seems to me that the great and probably unique strength of the Arab West Report is to provide information, analysis, news and commentary, in a structured form, on religious developments and relations in Egypt. It would make sense for the centre and its web site to focus on this strength since there are many other sites that offer information on relations between the West and the Arab world.” We fully agree with Prof. Faltas but also need to take into consideration that student interns at times have interests in different subjects to which we also want to cater. Thus, the selection for our Arabic media summary translations is focused on religious developments in Egypt while students have the opportunity to write about a larger number of subjects.



Cairo, November 25, 2019


Cornelis Hulsman,

Editor-in-chief Arab-West Report