How is the Arab state changing? Are the political systems undergoing transformation? What is happening to the institutions of presidency and monarchy? Have the political functions of armed forces and security services changed? Is there a renewal of elites underway? Will the new generation of leaders catalyse institutional changes? Is the political culture changing? On March 30, the third session of the Valdai Discussion Club and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Middle East Conference, titled “The State: The New Leaders and the Old Institutions”, was held. HRH Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, Founder and Trustee, King Faisal Foundation; Chairman, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies; Mustafa Aydin, President, International Relations Council of Turkey; Hrair Balian, Director, Conflict Resolution Program, Carter Center; Alastair Crooke, Director, Conflicts Forum; Nikolay Surkov, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Middle East Studies, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) RAS, participated. The session was moderated by Veniamin Popov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Analyst of the Institute for International Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).