The resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict will be the focus of discussions at a Valdai Club conference to be held next month in Malta. The two-day event will bring together politicians and analysts from various countries including Valdai discussion club members.

The forum, entitled “Scenarios and Models for a Middle East Peace Settlement,” will be the second Valdai conference devoted to the Arab-Israeli conflict, with a focus on ways to alleviate tensions in the region, challenges to the peace process, and possible diplomatic solutions. The organizers include Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, the Russian National Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Eastern Studies, and the Council for Foreign and Defense Policies.

The first such conference, held in December 2009 in Jordan, considered the prospects of building a regional security system. According to participants, that forum marked “Russia’s return to the Middle East, highlighting the country’s contribution to sustaining peace negotiations” in this troubled region. It also reaffirmed the critical importance of an Arab-Israeli peace settlement to peace and stability in the broader Middle East.

The aim of the upcoming conference is to find new solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict while elaborating on existing proposals.
Guests will include over fifty leading Middle East experts from Egypt, France, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, the Palestinian Authority, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Also invited are Jorge Sampaio, high representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations; Ahmed Qurei, former prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority; Gershon Baskin, co-director of the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information; and Harold Saunders, a former U.S. undersecretary of state who now heads the Kettering Foundation’s International Institute for Sustained Dialogue.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov and ex-Prime minister Yevgeny Primakov are expected to deliver keynote speeches. Other speakers include Vitaly Naumkin, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Eastern Studies, and Mikhail Margelov, who heads the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament.

The conference will be held on December 9 and 10, 2010.

Announcement and details: The Valdai Discussion Club | The Valdai Discussion Club

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