Global focus on Bahrain as it hosts major regional security summit
Manama: All eyes will be on Bahrain today as it hosts a major regional security summit.
Government delegations from more than 20 countries are expected to take part in the 13th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Regional Security Summit: The Manama Dialogue 2017.
Security will be stepped up around Seef District as Bahrain’s premier security conference gets underway at The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain.
The three-day forum, which will run until Sunday, has become one of the most important political and intellectual annual events that the kingdom has successfully organised.
Participants – comprising prime ministers, defence ministers, foreign ministers, national security advisers, and intelligence and military chiefs – will identify their visions and ideas on security challenges facing the region and how they can be dealt with and overcome.
UK Minister of State for the Middle East Alistair Burt will be heading his country's delegation. Indian Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar will address a plenary session.
Discussions will focus on how to build a stable security system for the Middle East, and strategies and policies to counter extremism. The inevitability of economic reform in the face of the collapse of oil prices will also be on the agenda.
The role of the US, specifically in ensuring the security and stability of countries in the region, will also come under the spotlight. Wars in Yemen and Syria and the situation in Iraq will be reviewed.
The event starts today with bilateral meetings between officials, followed by a specialised televised debate held in conjunction with Sky News Arabia.
Four plenary sessions will be held tomorrow focusing on US policy and Middle East stability, creating a stable regional security architecture, political and military responses to extremism in the Middle East, and security partnerships.
The final day will feature four special, closed-door sessions covering prospects for conflict resolution in Syria and Yemen, defence co-operation and modernisation in the Gulf, international campaign against terrorism and the security imperative of economic reform.
Some of the speakers at 13th (IISS) Regional Security Summit: The Manama Dialogue 2017 include
HH Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Dr Ibrahim Al Jaafri, Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs
HRH Prince Turki Al Fasal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Chairman of the Board, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies; former ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Washington and London
Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi, Omani Secretary-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Dr Ayadd Allawi, Vice President of Iraq
General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff Committee, Pakistan Armed Forces
Taro Kono, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs