The Impact of Conflict in the Middle East on Global Stability (17th Feb 2017)Round Tables - Past
The Aramea Foundation continued its series of regular events by hosting a round-table discussion in London on 17th February 2017 entitled, ‘The Impact of Conflict in the Middle East on Global Stability’. The Foundation brought together a wide array of diplomats, journalists, analysts, and experts to identify constructive solutions to some of the Middle East’s current conflicts.
The meeting was moderated by Samuel Morris, Advisor to the Aramea Foundation, who introduced the delegates and speakers, and outlined the aims of the Foundation. The meeting was then opened by Mr Siwar Al Assad, Chairman of the Aramea Foundation. Mr Al Assad welcomed guests and shared his personal views on the dynamic changes that the Middle East is facing.
Mr Al Assad stated, “I cannot be a passive witness and watch the destruction that is happening in my homeland. I created this organisation to become an active actor that seeks to share knowledge and better understanding about the Levant and region.”
He continued by outlining the humanitarian, cultural, and historic cost that the current conflict is having on Syria. He focused on the need for constructive and positive dialogue and went on to say, “Efforts must be made to show that war is the common enemy. We call on the UN, NATO, and the World Bank to support such ventures.
Rebuilding Syria has to be economic and social and will be beneficial for both the region and the world. Cultural heritage must also be protected and saved. The Aramea foundation appeals to foreign economic players to help.”
The on-the-record discussions continued with Reverend Larry Wright, Convenor of the Religious Affairs Council. Reverend Wright stressed on the need to break the negative cycle of violence that the Middle East finds itself in. He stated, “Violence breeds violence and its siblings are: vengeance, reprisal and retaliation. Governments, as well as individuals, adopt these siblings and unleash them at will. To break the spiral of violence we must contend with these forces of vengeance and violence at their root cause.”
Reverend Wright went on to highlight the positive role that faith can play, despite its shortcomings. He noted that while it can play a destructive role, there is a productive role for religion to play to help find an end to conflict.
The Deputy Dean of Moscow University, Alexander Gasparishvili, continued the proceedings by focusing on the need for cooperation. He stated, “[we need to] bring people together to organise at a grassroots level, to join an international conference that will bring people together who share the idea of non-conflict cooperation. This way we could try to avoid violence.”
Attendees then heard from Alexander Lazutkin, Russian Cosmonaut and hero of the Russian Federation. Lazutkin gave a unique perspective on the problems that the world faces. He said, “Future leaders need to understand that we cannot continue to wage war because we are one crew. Our spacecraft is Earth, on a dangerous journey. Our main task is to save our crew, to save humanity.”
The discussion that followed over lunch was held off-the-record. This was to facilitate an open and frank conversation about several difficult issues. Participants debated the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria with the aim of finding positive solutions and suggestions. This round-table discussion part of a series of meetings and events to discuss specific policy issues and identify pragmatic solutions to a wide array of issues that the Middle East is facing. The Aramea Foundation intends to continue these events to foster positive and constructive debate and become a source of balanced information about the Middle East.
In attendance were, Alexander Gasparishvili, Moscow State University Moscow; Alexander Lazutkin, Russian Cosmonaut; Ammar Waqqaf, Gnosos; Antoine-Joseph Assaf, Philosopher and Political Consultant; Azeddine Ould Daddah, Ould Daddah Foundation; Journalist; Charles Bennett, European Atlantic Group; Elizabeth Jones, UK Independence Party; Jonathan Mueller, ex-US State Department; Reverend Larry Wright, Religious Affairs Council; Hon. Mark G Hambley, Former US Ambassador to Lebanon and Qatar; Sabiha Malik, Sangata Global; Samuel Morris, Aramea Foundation; Siwar al Assad, Aramea Foundation; Vivian Wineman, Board of Deputies of British Jews; William Morris, Next Century Foundation; Anwar Yussef, Kurdistan Democratic Party Syria (KDP-S); Cedric Bteish, Syrian Real Estate Manager in Paris; Bassam Alloni, Syrian Journalist and Political Analyst; John Grogan, Politician; Jaafar El Ahmar, Journalist
London Roundtable 17.2.17
Opening Speech by Siwar Al Assad – Aramea Foundation – Roundtable Speech – 17.02.2017
Alexander Gasparishvili – Aramea Foundation – Roundtable Speech – 17.2.2017
Aleksandr Lazutkin – Aramea Foundation – Roundtable Speech – 17.2.2017
Rev. Larry Wright – Aramea Foundation – Roundtable Speech – 17.2.2017