THE IRAS INSTITUTE 7 Mar 2020 1:45 http://www.iras.ir/en/doc/news/3881/top-adviser-to-iranian-fm-attends-mideast-confab-in-valdai-discussion-club -------------------------------------------------- Title : Top adviser to Iranian FM attends Mideast Confab in Valdai Discussion Club -------------------------------------------------- Text : The Ninth Middle East Conference with the theme of Middle East in a Time of Change: Towards New Stability Architecture was held in the Valdai Discussion Club on February 17-18, 2020 in Moscow, attended by several high-ranking global officials, senior adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mehdi Sanaei in particular. Addressing the conference, Iran s former ambassador to the Russian Federation said the regional legitimate governments and institutions should be respected, describing the US and the western countries meddling as the "root cause" of the problems in the Middle East. The senior Iranian official underscored that the main reason behind the current regional problems and challenges is attacking the legitimate governments of the region. "I think it is crystal clear that the problems which we are witnessing nowadays in the region are the result of US and other Western countries intervention," ex-Iranian diplomat added. Sanaei also stressed the need for settling the regional problems through collaboration and negotiations, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not have "extravagant ambitions" in the region and its presence in some certain countries is at the official request of their governments. Over 50 high-ranking state figures and intellectuals from 20 countries took park in the two-day event which was aimed at putting the spotlight on regional architecture and scenarios of what the 2020s will bring to the region. In a meantime, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in his message to the meeting said: " I would like to convey my greetings to the participants in the conference The Middle East in a Time of Change: Towards New Stability Architecture, organized by the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club." "Your intellectual efforts are highly relevant. A number of countries in the Middle East continue to face serious challenges resulting from attempts to impose alien values and development models on their people, including by force. Today, tension is being escalated artificially in the Persian Gulf. The political part of the so-called deal of the century, unveiled in late January, is another serious destabilizing facto," the message added. "We have been consistent in arguing that peace and stability can be achieved across the Middle East only on the basis of international law, while respecting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of its countries. It has to be noted that adherence to these principles helped preserve the Syrian statehood, achieve meaningful progress in combatting terrorism, and launch an intra-Syrian political process," the message read. Lavrov added that it is obvious that anticipating and preventing new conflicts is the best way to avert escalation. In this context, Russia calls for creating an inclusive collective security and cooperation mechanism in the Persian Gulf. Our proposals are set forth in a Concept to this effect. "We strongly believe that consistently implementing its provisions will lay the groundwork for an architecture of mutual trust in the Middle East" he noted. I hope that your meeting will help promote a constructive agenda for the Middle East and North Africa. I wish you fruitful discussions and all the best," the message read.