Valdai Club to Hold Its Eleventh Middle East Conference
Valdai Club Conference Hall, Tsvetnoy Boulevard 16/1, Moscow, Russia
List of speakers

On February 21-22, the Valdai Discussion Club, with the support of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will hold its eleventh Middle East Conference. This year's agenda is “Russia and the Middle East: Strategic Rapprochement and the Intertwinement of Interests”. The Middle East conference will be held in a mixed format at the Club's headquarters at 16/1 Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Moscow, Russia.

About 90 international and Russian experts, politicians and intellectuals from 25 countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Britain, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Nigeria, Russia, the UAE, and the USA will take part in the Middle East Conference. This year, the vast majority of participants will be from abroad. The conference is expected to be opened by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Faisal Mekdad, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Syrian Arab Republic, will also be a guest of honour at the conference this year.

The Middle East remains among the main priorities of Russian foreign policy. The strengthened position of Russia in the region enhances its status as a global power. Moscow’s policy in the Middle East is distinguished by its clear strategy, aimed at resolving conflicts through mediation and the promotion of diplomatic initiatives. At the same time, Russia relies on political methods rather than the use of force.

This year, the emphasis is not only on the Middle East’s problems, but also on the general global processes in which Russia is involved. The purpose of the conference is, on the one hand, to find out what the permanent and new participants of the Valdai Club Conferences from the Middle East think about the situation, and on the other hand, to tell them about Russian approaches to problems that are relevant for the region in various fields.

The conference programme reflects this approach and includes the following topics:

  • Russia's priorities in the Middle East;
  • The future of the energy market amid a green transition;
  • Collective security systems;
  • Cooperation between Russia and the Middle East in economic recovery;
  • The consequences of migration processes;
  • Generational and cultural change.
A new Valdai Club report has been prepared especially for the Middle East conference, devoted to Russia's relations with individual countries and sub-regions within the Middle East in different dimensions – bilateral and multilateral. The authors of the report are considering new priorities and prospects for partnerships, as well as obstacles to their development.

The conference will be attended by: Amal Abu Zeid, Adviser to the President of Lebanon, member of the Lebanese Parliament from the Free Patriotic Movement (2016–2018); Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria (2014–2019); Mehdi Sanai, Associate Professor of the Faculty of World Studies at the University of Tehran, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Iran to Russia (2013–2019); Hemin Hawrami, Vice Speaker of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament; Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General and co-founder of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI); Galip Dalai, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy; Associate Fellow at the Chatham House; Doctoral Researcher at the History Faculty, University of Oxford; Tariq Yousef, Brookings Institution Visiting Senior Fellow; Vitaly Naumkin, scientific director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC); Vasily Kuznetsov, Head of the Center for Arabic and Islamic Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Konstantin Simonov, General Director of the National Energy Security Fund, Head of the Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Mass Communications of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation; Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director of the Valdai Discussion Club, Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs journal,  and others.

The Club’s Middle East conferences have been held since 2009. In past years, the forum has taken place in Jordan, Malta, Morocco, and Russia. Since 2016, the Middle East Valdai Club conferences have become annual and are held in Moscow.

Working languages: English, Arabic, Russian.

Information for the media: In order to get accredited for the event, please fill out the form on our website or call +79269307763.
Accreditation will close on February 18 at 4:00 p.m. Moscow time.