Politicians and Experts from over 30 Countries to Attend Annual Valdai Club Middle East Conference


The annual Valdai Club Middle East Conference, to be attended by prominent politicians, diplomats, scholars and public figures from more than 30 countries, kicks off in Moscow on Monday, February 19. The conference, jointly held by the Valdai Club and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is widely considered one of the Club’s most successful projects, since the format of expert dialogue makes it possible to bring together representatives of the region’s countries and jointly look for common ground despite differences.


The conference, to be held on February 19-20, will include eight sessions dedicated to various Middle East-related issues, including Russia’s diplomatic, mediatory, and political role in the region as well as its perception by other parties.

In particular, experts will discuss the post-war reconstruction of Syria, the prospects of settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the situation in Yemen, the mechanisms of providing assistance to Libya and resolving the Kurdish issue, as well as the ways to reduce tensions in Iran’s relations with its neighbours.

Information on the exact timing of each session is available in the conference programme.

Live broadcasts

Due to the strong interest of our audience in the Middle East affairs, this year, the Valdai Club decided not to use the Chatham House rule. It means that the visitors of our website can “attend” all of the discussions, which will be broadcast live.

To watch a particular session, follow the corresponding link:

February 19, Monday

09.30-11.00 Opening of the conference. Session 1. Russia in the Middle East: A Paradox of Perception

11.30-13.00 Session 2. Syria: After War, Peace

14.30-16.00 Session 3. Yemen: An Unnoticed Tragedy?

16.30-18.00 Session 4. Middle Eastern Settlement: An Exploded Quiet?

February 20, Tuesday

10.00-11.30 Session 5. Bringing Libya Back: A Common Cause?

12.00-13.30 Session 6. The Fate of the Kurds: A Central Issue?

15.00-16.30 Session 7. Iran: An Independent Course?

17.00-18.30 Session 8. The Future of One Region

The Middle East Conference in Our Social Media

You can also follow the Valdai Club Middle East conference on Facebook and Twitter, where highlights of each session will be posted.

“Russia Is Here to Stay”: the Tasks of the Conference

On February 13, in the run-up to the conference, the Valdai Club held Opening of the conference. Session 1. Russia in the Middle East: A Paradox of Perception. While answering journalists’ questions, Vitaly Naumkin, Academic Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, said that the conference’s title should not be interpreted as suggesting Russia’s “indiscrimination.” The ability to maintain relationships with all participants in the Middle East processes shows that Russia pursues a very high-precision policy which allows it to operate even under the most stringent conditions. According to Naumkin, Russia “is to stay” in the Middle East. This is being recognized both in the region and beyond. Therefore, one of the key tasks of the conference will be a more precise definition of the motives of the Middle Eastern states, which strengthen ties with Russia.

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