The Chairman of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC), Vladimir Yakunin, participated in “Rising and Falling Powers in the Middle East”, a panel discussion as part of the INSS Annual International Conference, one of the leading Israeli forums for defence and security issues.

Dr Yakunin spoke alongside retired General John R. Allen, President of the Brookings Institution; and Hélène le Gal, the French Ambassador to Israel. The discussion was moderated by Professor François Heisbourg of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The high-level discussion that touched on the shifting influence of major powers such as the US and Russia in the Middle East, as well as the potential roles that can be played by other actors such as the European Union and Russia.

Dr Yakunin said: “The geopolitical landscape in the Middle East may be changing, but the goal of securing peace that is sustainable for the long term remains as urgent as ever, and as challenging. It was a privilege to be invited to speak alongside such distinguished fellow panelists on this vitally important topic. I believe that the DOC and organisations like it have an important role to play in the region, and I look forward to increasing our activity here in the years to come.”

The panel can be watched in full here:

During his visit Dr Yakunin also gave interviews to leading Israeli media about the DOC and its potential to contribute to peace-making processes in the region.

“Today has great deal of importance. We should attribute to collaboration between think tanks, business people [and] cultural people. So that is to say that it is not states that have dialogues, but representatives of civil society and public opinion leaders. They should be involved in this process,” Dr Yakunin told the Jerusalem Post.

The full Jerusalem Post article can be read here

The INSS is an independent think tank based in Tel Aviv that focuses on strategic and military affairs in Israel and the wider Middle East. The INSS’s Annual International Conference brought together senior speakers from across politics, defence and the diplomatic community to discuss outline potential solutions to key issues in regional security. The President of Israel, Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, delivered a keynote speech on the first day of the two-day event, which this year had the title “Strategic Assessment for Israel”.