Valdai Discussion Club Debates Middle East Problems

On February 25-26, 2016, the Valdai Discussion Club held a conference titled "The Middle East: From Violence to Security" in partnership with the Institute of Oriental Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences).



In 2016, the Middle East saw civil wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen; humanitarian catastrophes; an escalation of rivalry between regional states; the involvement of global players; further expansion of the instability zone; and a surge of terrorism.

The key to shifting from violence to stable development lies in engineering collaboration between the principal actors and coalitions, de-escalating conflicts, developing confidence-building measures and fostering a balance of interests on the regional and intrastate levels.

The idea of universal security in the Middle East seems utopian today, but there is a pressing need to discuss a solution strategy, which will be the focus of the 5th Middle East Dialogue of the Valdai Discussion Club.

The conference program will consist of the following sessions:

- The Middle East in a whirlwind of changes
- Conflicts in the Middle East and prospects for their resolution
- Terrorism in the Middle East and methods of combating it
- Economic development and effective governance in the Middle East
- Russia and Eurasia: meeting Middle East challenges
- Cooperation opportunities for global and regional powers in the Middle East
- Toward a new regional security system in the Middle East

The conference will be attended by about a hundred political, public and religious leaders, as well as experts from Russia, Arab states of the Middle East and North Africa, Iran, Turkey, Europe and the US.

The working languages of the conference are Russian, English and Arabic.

More details about the conference are available online at

Venue: Moscow, 10.00

For more information, please call: +7 (926) 930-77-63 or e-mail:

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Session 1. The Middle East in a Whirlwind of Change


Session 2. Conflicts in the Middle East and the Prospects of Their Settlement


Session 3. Terrorism in the Middle East and Methods of Combating It


Session 4. Economic Development and Effective Governance in the Middle East


Presentation of Report ISIS as Portrayed by Foreign Media and Mass Culture


Session 5. Russia and Eurasia: Meeting Middle East Challenges


Session 6. Cooperation Opportunities for Global and Regional Powers in the Middle East


Session 7. Towards a New Regional Security System in the Middle East


Position Paper: The Middle East: From Conflicts to Stability


Valdai Club Hosts Bouthania Shaaban, Aide to President Assad


Bouthaina Shaaban : Syrian People Will Never Accept Partition of Syria


Image Gallery: Bouthania Shaaban, an aide to the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, meets with Valdai Club experts


Valdai Club Report: ISIS as Portrayed by Foreign Media and Mass Culture

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Where the Middle East Goes? By Vitaly Naumkin


Tales of the New Old Middle East. By Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou


Is There a Chance to Stop the Syrian Disaster? By Alexander Aksenyonok


Why a Destabilized Middle East is Not-So-Against Western Interests? Interview with Elias Samo


In Search of a New Middle East. Interview with Hamadi Redissi


Why Turkish and Saudi Boots on the Ground in Syria Can Be Undesirable for Washington. By Irina Zvyagelskaya


Saudi or Turkish Invasion of Syria Could Ruin Geneva Peace Talks. By Kayhan Barzegar


Middle East Security Architecture ‘Race’ Is On. By Alastair Crooke


Middle East: Insane to Be an Optimist? By P.R. Kumaraswamy


Agreement on Syria Gives an Opportunity and a Little Time to Move Forward. Interview with Paul J. Saunders


US-Russian Deal for Syrian Ceasefire is Only Option That Leads to De-Escalation. Interview with Irina Zvyagelskaya

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Infographics: Middle East: Military Power and Foreign Military Presence


Infographics: Who Bombs ISIS in Siria and Iraq


Infographics: Oil and Economy in the Middle East