Think Tank
The 13th Middle East Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Valdai Club Conference Hall, Tsvetnoy Boulevard 16/1, Moscow, Russia

On February 13–14, 2024, the Valdai Discussion Club, with the support of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will host its thirteenth annual Middle East Conference, titled “Time for decisive action: a comprehensive settlement for the sake of stability in the region.” The conference will be held at the Club’s headquarters in Moscow at Tsvetnoy Boulevard, 16/1.

The Middle East conference will be attended by about 50 international and Russian experts and political figures from 16 countries, including Algeria, Egypt, India, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Turkey. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be the guest of honour at the conference.

The thirteenth conference is taking place in circumstances of increased attention to the region: the Middle East problems in general and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in particular have come to the forefront of the international agenda.

"Long-term attempts by the United States to monopolize mediation efforts in the Middle East settlement have led to a sharp escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. More than 25,000 civilians have already been killed there and three times as many injured,” Sergey Lavrov said at the first BRICS sherpa and sous-sherpa meeting in Moscow.

Middle East diplomacy remains one of the most consistent areas of Russian foreign policy. The purpose of the conference is to analyze regional trends and replenish the collection of ideas and proposals that can be used for stabilisation, a comprehensive settlement and the creation of conditions for progressive development in the Middle East.

During the conference, experts will discuss the following issues:
  • Paths to a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East;
  • The legacy of colonial policy and its echoes in the Middle East;
  • The Palestinian-Israeli conflict;
  • Diversity of players in the Middle East;
  • A Middle East without nuclear weapons;
  • Economic cooperation in the region.
A new Valdai Club report, “Gaza. Yemen. Epicenters of Pain. Feelings, Myths and Memory in the Middle East,” prepared especially for the Middle East Conference, examines the interconnection of the Middle Eastern crises. The authors of the report turn to the historical background of the aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and analyze its impact on other hotbeds of tension in the Middle East. The presentation of the report will take place on February 8 at the Club’s headquaters.

The conference will be attended by: Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, Deputy UN Special Envoy for Syria (2014 – 2019) (Egypt); Hirak Jyoti Das, senior researcher at the Vivekananda International Foundation; Zaid Eyadat, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan (Jordan); Mohammad Reza Deshiri, Dean of the University of International Relations at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Amal Abou Zeid, Advisor to Lebanese President Michel Aoun (2016 – 2022) (Lebanon); Ahmed Majdalani, Minister of Social Affairs of Palestine, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (Palestine); Naeem Salik, Executive Director of the Institute for Strategic Vision (Pakistan); Daniel Levy, President of the US/Middle East Project (USMEP) (UK); Hrair Balian, Senior Researcher, Director of the Conflict Resolution and Civil Diplomacy Program at the Middle East Institute (USA); Vitaly Naumkin, Academic Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Maxim Suchkov, Director of the Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University; Andrey Baklanov, Head of the Section for the Study of the Middle East and North Africa at the Higher School of Economics; Irina Zvyagelskaya, Head of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, IMEMO RAS; Vasily Kuznetsov, Head of the Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Maria Khodynskaya-Golenischeva, Deputy Director of the Department of Foreign Policy Planning of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Professor of the Department of Applied Analysis of International Problems at MGIMO University of the Russian Foreign Ministry; 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; Andrey Sushentsov, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club and others.

The Club’s Middle East conferences have been held since 2009. Over the years, the forum was hosted by Jordan, Malta, and Morocco. Since 2016, the Middle East conference has become an annual event and is held in Moscow.

Working languages: English, Arabic, Russian.

Information for the media: Dear journalists, to be accredited for the event, please fill out the form on our website. If you have any questions about the event, call +79269307763

Links to the live broadcast of the open sessions will be posted on all online platforms of the Valdai Club: on the websiteX (formerly Twitter)VKontakteTelegram and Dzen.