Why the Sykes-Picot system proved to be unviable? Is it possible to overcome the nation state and identity crisis that swept the Middle East? What is the role of third forces in the Middle East region? Can we expect that all the agreements, reached by Russia and the United States, will be implemented? Fyodor Lukyanov, academic director of the Valdai Discussion Club Foundation, and Vitaly Naumkin, scientific director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, discuss these issues in this Valdai Talks series.