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Fifth Annual Sir Bani Yas Forum concludes in Abu Dhabi

posted on 17/11/2014: 2597 views

The fifth annual Sir Bani Yas Forum, organised by the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), concluded on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

The annual high-level retreat is the initiative of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister. The aim of the Forum is to create a space for action-oriented discussions among leading policy and opinion-makers about critical issues of relevance for peace and security in the Middle East.

The Forum, which ran from 14 to 16 November, featured discussions around central issues confronting regional and world leaders in the Middle East, including the crisis in Iraq and Syria, the role of Islamist movements, the changing political and security landscape in North Africa, the Middle East Peace Process, the role of Iran in the Middle East, and the shifting interests and actions of Great Powers in the region.

Current and former foreign ministers from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia, as well as a select number of international policy experts, convened to share their knowledge and understanding.

In this context, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, said, "Solving the challenges in the Middle East and around the world today requires partnership, frank exchanges, and a foundation of mutual respect and understanding. This year's Forum once again provided a unique opportunity for policymakers and experts to find common ground for addressing the immense challenges we face and to identify new opportunities for collaboration." CSIS President and CEO Dr. John Hamre said, "I can't think of a more important time to bring together senior officials and experts to devise creative solutions to the problems we all face in the Middle East today. We were pleased to have an opportunity to work with the U.A.E. Government on this important initiative." Reflecting upon proceedings at the Forum, Jordanian Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, said, "The openness of the beautiful desert provides the perfect setting for decision makers and opinion leaders to have an open, analytical, and objective-driven discussion." Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd observed, "In a time of great regional peril, this conference is not only an opportunity for current and former officials to share analysis, but also a tremendous opportunity to help shape solutions." The Forum also featured exclusive polling, conducted by Dr. James Zogby, which surveyed thousands of people across the region on their attitudes toward key issues, including how they viewed the outcome of the Arab Spring and their perceptions of different governments and political groups.

The Forum was held at the Qasr Al Sarab desert resort in the Liwa Desert of Abu Dhabi.

As in past years, all proceedings were conducted under the Chatham House Rule of non-attribution; there were no prepared statements, no communiques, and no reporting media. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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