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Towards A New Security Architecture For The Mena Region





İlknur Şebnem Öztemel – TDO - The conference, organized by the Al Shaq Forum and Afro Middle East Center (AMEC) partnership, “Towards A New Security Architecture For The Mena Region” ended. Lots of experts, policymakers, current and former officials attended the conference. Here are some titles from the conference.

The Collapsing Regional Order and the Need for a New Security Architecture for the MENA region

Wadah Khanfar,  President of Al Sharq Forum, Sayed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour, Deputy Foreign Minister, in charge of research and education of Iran, Taha Özhan, member of Turkish Parliament  and chairman  of Foreign Affairs  Commission, Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of Department of Foreign Relations for the Kurdistan Regional Government, Paolo Magri, Executive Vice-President  and Director of the Italian Institute  for International Political Studies(ISPI) and Richard Atwood who is the Director of the New York Office of International Crisis Group, joined to the first  session and presented their point of views about the issue.

Determining the Actors of the New Security Architecture

The second session of the conference held under moderation of David Jalilvand who is a researcher in the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, located in Berlin. Walter Posch from the Institute for Peace Support and Conflict  Management and National Defense Academy in Vienna, Ranj Alaaldin , a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, Mohammad Marandi, Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, Ammar Kanf who is the co-founder  and Executive Director  of Omran for Strategic Studies , Haldun Yalçınkaya from TOBB Economics and Technology University and Resul Serdar Atas, program director at TRT World, joined the event.

Most interestingly, Mr. Marandi highlighted the significance of Turkey and Iran’s negotiation and common efforts to solve the problems in the region and Mr.  Ammar focused on third parties that affect the Syrian conflict and requested to open more space for Syrians.

The Changing Nature of Conflicts in the Region

The third session of the conference was held under moderation of Imran Garda from TRT World. Fatma Ceren Yazgan, Deputy Director General for Security and Intelligence in Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Omar Ashour who is a senior Lecturer in Security-Military Studies and Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter, Adana Tabatabai, Co-founder and CEO of Germany based think tank CARPO, Ezeddine Abdelmoula, the Manager of Research at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies and Şaban Kardaş, the President of ORSAM, joined to the session.

Most interestingly, Ms. Yazgan underlined the importance of changing style of war, challenges to cope with terrorists who are using social media and child bombers, Mr. Ashour gave significant data about inter-state, intra-state fighting and state-non state actor clashes as states started to be less successful and Mr. Tabatabai indicated that Iran’s threat perception has been changed after the nuclear deal and became more focused on the region.

Mapping the New Security Architecture: The Road Ahead

The final session was held under moderation of Na’eem Jeenah, former attendee of the first session.  Kayhan Bazergar who is the director of the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies, Nihat Ali Özcan from TEPAV, Said Ferjani, an advisor to the head of the Ennahdha Central Committee, Tarik M. Yousef, Director of Brookings Institution in Doha, Vassily Kuznetsov, the head of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Oriental Institute in Moscow and Ibrahim Turhan who is a member of Turkish Parliament & Former Chairman and CEO of the Istanbul Stock Exchange, joined the session.

In this session, all speakers agreed that mapping new security architecture is possible, focused on economic and social aspects of it, including gender studies.