Manama Dialogue to focus on strategic diversification

A MAJOR security summit being held in Bahrain later this year will focus on ‘The Risks and Rewards of Strategic Diversification’.

World leaders, military chiefs and senior decision-makers are expected to attend the 19th edition of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Regional Security Summit: The Manama Dialogue 2023, which will be held from November 17 to 19 at The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain.

The dialogue is a unique forum for government ministers and policymakers, as well as members of the expert, opinion-forming and business communities, to debate the Middle East’s most pressing foreign-policy, defence and security challenges.

Held annually since 2004 in Bahrain, the forum is a central element of the Middle East’s security architecture. It enables national leaders, ministers and policymakers from the Middle East, North America, Europe, Africa and Asia to gather together to discuss the most pressing regional security issues and to share policy responses.

“Acknowledging the restoration of diplomatic relations between countries of the Middle East and re-engagement between capitals, the region remains shaped by conflict and competition,” IISS executive director Middle East Lt Gen (Retd) Sir Tom Beckett told the GDN.

“In parallel, some states have notable geopolitical and geo-economic clout, which is being deployed in the service of their global interests. They have used this influence to solidify or develop strategic partnerships,” he added.

“November 2023 provides a timely opportunity for regional and extra-regional governments to express the foreign, defence and security policies that are shaping the evolving regional and global order.”

The outline agenda states that the forum starts on November 17 with bilateral meetings between visiting ministers and government officials, followed by an opening dinner featuring a keynote address.

On the following day (November 18), there will be four plenary sessions aimed at tackling different issues including ‘US policy in a changing Middle East’, ‘Regional diplomacy and de-escalation’, ‘Navigating global competition’, and ‘Capabilities and strategy’.

The final day (November 19) of the security conference will feature two special sessions that will focus on ‘Addressing regional conflicts’ and ‘The new politics of energy security’.

The concluding plenary session will focus on ‘New forms of strategic co-operation’.

The Young Leaders Programme featuring Middle East and North Africa’s brightest young strategic thinkers will be held on the sidelines of the three-day summit.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered the keynote address during the opening of the Manama Dialogue 2022.

His Majesty King Hamad’s representative for humanitarian work and youth affairs and National Security Adviser Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa also delivered a speech at the last summit.

Some of the big names to have appeared as speakers at the summit previously are former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and former British prime minister Boris Johnson in his capacity as foreign secretary in 2016.




Share this page Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin

Read our latest publication

'Bahrain-France Investor Guide' -
is YOUR guide to invest in Bahrain and in France. Click here to view the online guide