This report is based on discussions held at the Valdai Club's Middle East Dialogue conference, which took place in Marrakesh, Morocco, on May 14-15, 2013. The event was attended by high-profile politicians from the Middle East and North Africa, including leaders of Islamist movements, as well as prominent experts, analysts and journalists from Russia and around the world.
The turbulent events of the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011-2012 have unleashed significant socio-political transformations in the region. Different countries have one feature in common – the emergence of predominately Sunni Islamist parties and movements in the political arena. The authors argue that the transformation of Arab societies will continue to evolve and spread. They believe the region has entered a protracted period of political chaos, economic decline and even existential threats to certain states. The experts analyze political Islam in countries of the Arab Awakening, relations between and within religious communities as well as Russia’s interests in the “New” Middle East.
The report, presented in Moscow on August, 21, is authored by Professor Vitaly Naumkin, Director, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Corresponding Member, RAS; Ambassador Alexander Aksenyonok, Ph.D. in Law; Boris Dolgov, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Ph.D. in History; Professor Irina Zvyagelskaya, Chief Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; D.Sc. in History; Vasily Kuznetsov, Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Director , Centre for Transformation of Political Systems and Political Cultures, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Ph.D. in History; Ambassador Veniamin Popov, Director, Civizations` Partnership Centre, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University), MFA of Russia.