03 Nov 2021

Event time: 12/02/2021 8:00 am - 12/02/2021 8:00 pm

Short description: International Conference – Webinar

Add to Calendar 12/02/2021 8:00 am 12/02/2021 8:00 pm International Conference: “Middle East and North Africa: the Changes for a New Beginning” International Conference – Webinar

Middle East and North Africa: The Changes for a New Beginningis an event organized by Bucharest-based think-tanks MEPEI (Middle East Political and Economic Institute) and EuroDefense Romania in partnership with IPIS (the Institute for Political and International Studies), Tehran, and with special support of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Romania.

MEPEI the seventh annual conference will assess with the assistance of relevant scholars and practitioners the dynamic shifts in power and alliances in this volatile environment. The speakers will address the new transformations at the global level, the reverberations of a large-scale crisis in Afghanistan, energy and geopolitical influence for global, regional, and emergent players, the economic setbacks in the Middle East, with an accent on the crisis in Lebanon, economic resilience under the sanctions’ regime, assessing the case of Iran, and the engagement of the European Union with the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Conference addresses elements of novelty in terms of the security environment, the political engagement of world and regional players, and economic challenges in the Middle East (in a broad understanding). The arena of great powers is facing new provocations as the United States is diminishing its presence in the region, amid a withdrawal from Afghanistan, whereas Russia is evoking a more prominent role and a rising China is gaining more influence through diplomatic, military, and economic means.

The webinar invited speakers are experts from Afghanistan, Austria, China, Hungary, Lebanon, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Palestine, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Syria, Turkey, UK, USA, and so on.

The webinar brings together diplomats, officials, academics, business leaders, politicians, as well as independent researchers, think-tank representatives, journalists, and other civil society representatives.

Working language: English (no translation).

Time zone: Bucharest, Romania.

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_cm4uVv5oS-aYHoqmkf9NeA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Overview

Middle East and North Africa: The Changes for a New Beginningis an event organized by Bucharest-based think-tanks MEPEI (Middle East Political and Economic Institute) and EuroDefense Romania in partnership with IPIS (the Institute for Political and International Studies), Tehran, and with special support of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Romania.

MEPEI the seventh annual conference will assess with the assistance of relevant scholars and practitioners the dynamic shifts in power and alliances in this volatile environment. The speakers will address the new transformations at the global level, the reverberations of a large-scale crisis in Afghanistan, energy and geopolitical influence for global, regional, and emergent players, the economic setbacks in the Middle East, with an accent on the crisis in Lebanon, economic resilience under the sanctions’ regime, assessing the case of Iran, and the engagement of the European Union with the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Conference addresses elements of novelty in terms of the security environment, the political engagement of world and regional players, and economic challenges in the Middle East (in a broad understanding). The arena of great powers is facing new provocations as the United States is diminishing its presence in the region, amid a withdrawal from Afghanistan, whereas Russia is evoking a more prominent role and a rising China is gaining more influence through diplomatic, military, and economic means.

The webinar invited speakers are experts from Afghanistan, Austria, China, Hungary, Lebanon, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Palestine, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Syria, Turkey, UK, USA, and so on.

The webinar brings together diplomats, officials, academics, business leaders, politicians, as well as independent researchers, think-tank representatives, journalists, and other civil society representatives.

Working language: English (no translation).

Time zone: Bucharest, Romania.

Agenda
08:00 – 09:00 Establishing the Web connection
   
09:00 – 09:10 Opening Remarks
  Mr. Flavius CABA-MARIA, President of MEPEI, Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Liviu MUREŞAN, President, EuroDefense Romania

09:10 – 10:10 Keynote Speeches
  HE Dr. Muhammad Hassan Shaykh al-ISLAMI, President of Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, MoFA, the Islamic Republic of Iran
  HE Dr. Werner FASSLABEND, President, the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES), President EuroDefense Austria, and Former Minister of Defense of Austria (1990-2000), Austria
  HE Prof. Dr. Anis H. BAJREKTAREVIC, International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES), IFIMES Permanent Representation to Austria and Vienna-based IOs

Prof. Teodor MELEȘCANU, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Romania

Prof. Adrian SEVERIN, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Romania

10:10 – 11:20 Session I: Power Games towards a New Security Architecture in the MENA Region
  The panel will cover salient issues for a transforming security structure of a key region of the world. It will investigate how the rivalry of great powers, combined with the already existing regional rifts between Iran, Saudi Arabia, the rise of Turkey’s engagement with the region, and Israel’s role, have all contributed to the creation of a new security architecture.

Chair:

Dr. Liviu MUREŞAN, President, EuroDefense Romania

Speakers:

Prof. Kayhan BARZEGAR, Senior Academic Advisor at MoFA, Professor at the Islamic Azad University / Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran

Dr. Basam ABOABDOLAH, Head of the Center for Strategic Studies and Adviser to the Syrian Information Minister, the Syrian Arab Republic

Dr. Vasily KUZNETSOV, Head of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Head of the Department of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Oriental Faculty of the State Academic University for the Humanities, the Russian Federation

Dr. Qin TIAN, Assistant Director of Institute of Middle East Studies, CICIR (China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations), the People’s Republic of China

Dr. Nicola PEDDE, Director of Institute for Global Studies and Research Director for the Middle East at the Military Center for Strategic Studies, Ministry of Defense, Rome, Italy

Dr. Șaban KARDAS, Associate Prof. Department of Political Science and International Relations, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Ankara, the Republic of Turkey

Prof. Davood KIANI, the Islamic Azad University, Vice President at the Institute of Iran and Eurasia Studies (IRAS), the Islamic Republic of Iran

Q & A, Remarks, and Comments

11:20 – 11:30 Coffee Break
 
11:30 – 12:30 Session II: Afghanistan – New Power Games and Security Dilemmas
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the current context, Afghanistan could mean that it will stand for an arena where the emerging Asian power rivalry is racing in the aftermath of Washington’s decision to withdraw. The panel will think about whether is possible to avoid a collapse from a security and economic point of views while reflecting on ways to navigate away from the ill-fated condition.

Chair:

Prof. Kayhan BARZEGAR, Senior Academic Advisor at MoFA, Professor at the Islamic Azad University / Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran

Speakers:

Gen. Carlos BRANCO, Former Director of the War College and Defense Research Center, the Portuguese Institute of International Relations, Portugal

Dr. Amina KHAN, Director Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East & Africa, the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI), Islamabad, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Dr. Hekmatullah AZAMY, Research Fellow, the Nordic Counter Terrorism Network, Finland, Former National Security Advisor to President Ashraf Ghani, Deputy Director of Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Afghanistan

Prof. Silviu NATE, Director of the Global Studies Center, “Lucian Blaga” University, Sibiu, Romania

HE Dr. Hossein Molla ABDOLLAHI, Senior Expert, IPIS, Former Ambassador to Serbia, the Islamic Republic of Iran

Q & A, Remarks, and Comments 

12:30 – 13:30 Session III: Emerging Presence of the New Actors in the Middle East
  The session focuses on the prolonged consequences of the Arab Uprisings, the decline of the post-Cold War order, and increasing global rivalry between the world powers, which have all offered an increased role to regionalism. In this context, new actors have emerged, such as entities engaging in regional axes of collaboration and external players, namely Asian powers, such as Japan, South Korea or Singapore (largely holding economic interests in mind). Together with the increased interest of Asian powers towards the Middle East, we note the ever-growing influence of China with its long-term strategy for development, entitled the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which gives a new dimension to reciprocal interaction in the MENA region.

Chair:

Prof. Davood KIANI, the Islamic Azad University, Vice President at the Institute of Iran and Eurasia Studies (IRAS), the Islamic Republic of Iran

Keynote speakers:

HE Dr. Dato’ Ku Jaafar Ku SHAARI, Secretary General Developing 8 Organization for Economic Cooperation (D-8), Malaysia

HE Mr. Viorel ISTICIOAIA-BUDURA, Former Ambassador of Romania to People’s Republic of China, Former Head of the European Union Delegation to Japan, Managing Director, Head of Asia and Pacific Department, European External Action Service, Romania

Speakers:

Dr. YAO JINXIANG, Assistant Research Fellow, Department for Developing Countries Studies, CIIS (China Institute of International Studies), the People’s Republic of China

Prof. Selçuk ÇOLAKOĞLU, Globalization and Development Programme, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences (DHSS), Beijing Normal University – Hong Kong Baptist University, United International College, Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, the People’s Republic of China

Prof. Ecaterina MAȚOI, Program Director at MEPEI, Lecturer at the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department of Basel University, Switzerland

Dr. Muhammad Taimur Fahad KHAN, Research Associate, the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI), Islamabad, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Q & A, Remarks, and Comments

13:30 – 14:15 Lunch Break
14:15 – 15:30 Session IV: China in the Middle East. The New World Power on the Scene in the Great Game of International Relations
  This session focuses on the way China has significantly increased its economic, political, and secondarily a security footprint in the Middle East during the past year, marking its entrance to a Great Game of International Relations. China’s engaging with the Middle East focuses mostly on its own need for energy supplies and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Chair:

HE Mr. Viorel ISTICIOAIA-BUDURA, Former Ambassador of Romania to People’s Republic of China, Former Head of the European Union Delegation to Japan, Managing Director, Head of Asia and Pacific Department, European External Action Service, Romania

Speakers:

Prof. Tugrul KESKIN, Director Center for Global Governance, Institute of Global Studies, Shanghai University

Prof. Erzsebet N. ROZSA, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

Prof. Zeno LEONI, Lecturer in War Studies, Defense Studies Department/Defense Academy UK, Affiliate – Lau China Institute, King’s College London, the United Kingdom

Dr. Khalil SHIRGHOLAMI, Senior Expert, IPIS, the Islamic Republic of Iran

Dr. Li ZIXIN, Assistant Research Fellow, Department for Developing Countries Studies, CIIS (China Institute of International Studies), the People’s Republic of China

Dr. Robert MOGIELNICKI, Senior Resident Scholar, the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW), USA

Q & A, Remarks, and Comments

15:30 – 16:30 Session V: Lebanon at Crossroads: Politics and Economics in the Wake of a Decisive Social Crisis
 

 

This panel addresses the economic challenges of Lebanon. After an awful tragedy in August 2020, Lebanon hangs in bearing bigger questions about how many shocks such fragile, vulnerable countries can absorb? Is there a way out for the small Mediterranean state that lies in the middle of one of the worst economic crises, political deadlock, and social divisions? The speakers will try to come up with solutions that could ensure the future continuation of the Levantine society.

Chair:

Mr. Flavius CABA-MARIA, President of MEPEI, Bucharest, Romania

Speakers:

Prof. Laura SAYAH, Beirut Arab University, La Sagesse University and Lebanese University, the Republic of Lebanon

Dr. Abdul Halim FADLALLAH, Chairman, the Consultative Center for Studies and Documentation, Beirut, the Republic of Lebanon

Dr. Mojtaba FERDOWSIPOUR, Senior Expert, IPIS, the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr. Emiliano STORNELLI, Charmain and Founder, Religion and Security Council, Rome, Italy

Dr. Corneliu PIVARIU, Security and International Relations Senior Expert, Romania

Q & A, Remarks, and Comments

16:30 – 16:45 Coffee Break
   
16:45 – 17:45 Session VI: EU and the Future of MENA
  On the occasion of the International Day Solidarity with the Palestinian People, November 29 Double standards policy threaten the credibility of the International community in the Palestinian Issue.

The panel will cover aspects regarding the EU’s presence in the MENA, as turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa directly affects Europeans (see a continuous migration crisis). The EU has not seen a deal-breaker and stands far away from retaining a decisive role in major events. How can it overcome obstacles and line-up a more powerful policy for the mid and long-term range?

Chair:

Dr. Liviu MUREŞAN, President, EuroDefense Romania

Speakers:

HE Dr. Alibeman Eghbali ZARCH, Senior Expert, IPIS, Former Ambassador to Albania, the Islamic Republic of Iran

Dr. Mihai Sebastian CHIHAIA, Policy Analyst, the European Policy Centre, Brussels, Belgium

Prof. Marius NEACȘU, University of Economic Studies (ASE), Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Waill BATREKHI, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Chief of the Mission, Embassy of the State of Palestine to Romania

Dr. Alexandru GEORGESCU, Strategic Analyst, EuroDefense Romania

Mr. Sergiu DUR, PhD Candidate and Researcher, “Babeș-Bolyai” University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Q & A, Remarks, and Comments 

17:45 – 18:45 Session VII: The Assessment of the Economic Sanctions on MENA’s Countries and Innovative Instruments for Trading
  The panel sums up crucial aspects regarding economic sanctions in the MENA region, with a focus on those applied to Iran. Negotiations to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) are expected to resume in order to get the United States to re-enter the deal. As the diplomatic activities could resume, officials across European capitals are examining how to revive EU-Iran trade following the lifting of US secondary sanctions. How can the EU interact in a beneficial way with Iran leading to a win-win strategy? There is a lot of potential underway to be unlocked.

Chair:

Mr. Iulian MAREȘ, Strategic Analyst, MEPEI, Bucharest, Romania

Speakers:

Prof. Foad IZADI, Expert on JCPOA issue, Tehran University, the Islamic Republic of Iran

Prof. Mohsen ABDOLLAHI, Expert on International and Environmental Law, Shahid Beheshti University, the Islamic Republic of Iran

Prof. Radu MUȘETESCU, Director of International Economic Relations at MEPEI, and Director of the Department for International Economic Relations, University of Economic Studies (ASE), Bucharest, Romania

Prof. Hussein MAKLAD, Dean of the Faculty of International Relations and Diplomacy at Al-Sham Private University, the Syrian Arab Republic

Prof. Pouria ASKARY, Expert on Public International Law/Investment Arbitration, Allameh Tabatabaei University, the Islamic Republic of Iran

Q & A, Remarks, and Comments 

18:45 Conclusion and Final Remarks
  Dr. Liviu MUREŞAN, President, EuroDefense Romania

HE Prof. Dr. Anis H. BAJREKTAREVIC, International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES), IFIMES Permanent Representation to Austria and Vienna-based IOs

Dr. Corneliu PIVARIU, Security and International Relations Senior Expert, Romania

HE Dr. Alibeman Eghbali ZARCH, Senior Expert, IPIS, Former Ambassador to Albania, Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr. Flavius CABA-MARIA, President of MEPEI, Bucharest, Romania

Speakers

Please see the agenda.

Venue

On-line Event

Contact us

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Dec 2, 2021 08:00 AM Bucharest

Topic: Webinar – “Middle East and North Africa: the Changes for a New Beginning”

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_cm4uVv5oS-aYHoqmkf9NeA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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