Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference, is due to head to Russia on Sunday night.
Zarif’s trip to Moscow is aimed at meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and delivering a speech at Valdai Discussion Club’s Middle East Conference.
According to a Farsi report by IRIB, this year the annual Valdai Conference’s theme is “Russia in the Middle East: Playing on All Fields.”
The annual Valdai Club Middle East Conference, to be attended by prominent politicians, diplomats, scholars and public figures from more than 30 countries, will kick off in Moscow on Monday, February 19.
Zarif and Lavrov are among the keynote speakers. The conference, jointly held by the Valdai Club and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is widely considered one of the Club’s most successful projects, since the format of expert dialogue makes it possible to bring together representatives of the region’s countries and jointly look for common ground despite differences.
The two-day conference will include eight sessions dedicated to various Middle East-related issues, including Russia’s diplomatic, mediatory, and political role in the region as well as its perception by other parties.
In particular, experts will discuss the post-war reconstruction of Syria, the prospects of settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the situation in Yemen, the mechanisms of providing assistance to Libya and resolving the Kurdish issue, as well as the ways to reduce tensions in Iran’s relations with its neighbours.
The Valdai Discussion Club is a Moscow-based think tank, established in 2004. It is named after Lake Valdai, which is located close to Veliky Novgorod, where the Club’s first meeting took place.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with the participants of the Valdai Club’s annual meetings every year since its founding.