The Forum was officially opened with words of welcome from: Victoria Karslieva, Executive Director of the Evgeniy Primakov Center for International Cooperation, Vasily Kuznetsov, Dr., PhD in History, Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Aleksander Gorbunov, Prof., D.Sc. (Economics), PhD in History, Honored Worker of the Higher School of the Russian Federation, Rector of Pyatigorsk State University.
The Forum consisted of one introductory and six working sessions held in the best academic traditions of Chatham House. Various Russian and foreign experts took part in the event, including: representatives of scientific and analytical centers of the Middle East, such as the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Cairo University, the Nation-Building Movement of Syria, the Institute for Iran and Eurasia Studies (IRAS), Teheran University, Ankara University, Istanbul Bilgi University, Kuwait University, Afro-Middle East Centre (Johannesburg, South Africa), Lebanese University, the American University in Beirut (Lebanon), Al-Cuds University (Palestine), as well as representatives of various international organizations, such as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Russian side was represented by the experts from the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian International Affairs Council, MGIMO University, IMEMO, HSE, and Pyatigorsk State University.
During the working sessions, the experts discussed the relations between Middle Eastern countries and Russia amidst the changing World Order, issues of building a new regional security architecture in the Middle East, ways insuring food security in the region, developing economic cooperation with Russia, as well as matters of bilateral cooperation between Russia, Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf, Iran, and Northern African countries.
For reference: the first International Expert Forum “Russia – the Middle East” took place back in 2019 in Kazan, Russia.