Iran to take part in security forum
Manama, December 5, 2013
Iran is due to take part in a major security summit that gets underway in Bahrain tomorrow.
Hundreds of military chiefs and security officials are due to attend the ninth International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Manama Dialogue regional security summit, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Bahrain's Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa earlier confirmed a formal invitation had been sent to his Iranian counterpart.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham yesterday said Tehran was keen to open a new page in relations with neighbouring countries.
"Iran will send a Foreign Ministry adviser for the meeting," she said, according to a Kuwait News Agency report.
Her statement comes as Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is on a tour of the Gulf.
The Manama Dialogue, launched in 2004, has established itself as an important platform to debate major regional and global security, political and economic issues.
Senior government delegations, including US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, will gather to address key themes such as Syria, Egypt, sectarianism and extremism, GCC integration and military co-operation.
"US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel's decision to lead an impressive US delegation to the IISS Manama Dialogue is a mark of the unique opportunities for defence diplomacy and conflict resolution offered by the Manama Dialogue platform," said IISS chief executive and director-general Dr John Chipman.
The summit, at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa, will include bilateral meetings between ministers and officials.
On Saturday the opening session will focus on the global security priorities of the US.
Participants will also debate the crisis in Syria and its impact on the region, as well as the GCC and its widening international security relationships.
Mediation in defence diplomacy, the shifting of military balance in the region and the dangers of sectarianism in politics are also on the agenda. - TradeArabia News Service