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On December 4, 2019, in Brussels, Belgium, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) organized a seminar on Syria issues and collective security in the Gulf. The event was attended by representatives of Russian and European expert and diplomatic communities.

On December 4, 2019, in Brussels, Belgium, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) organized a seminar on Syria issues and collective security in the Gulf. The event was attended by representatives of Russian and European expert and diplomatic communities.

The meeting was opened by Julien Barnes-Dacey, ECFR Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program, and Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General.

The event consisted of three sessions. The first focused on security architecture in the Gulf region. The parties considered the Russian concept of collective security in the Gulf region and exchanged views on the situation in the region. In the second session, participants discussed opportunities for rapprochement of the Russian and European positions regarding the Syrian settlement. Experts and diplomats also discussed the impact of sanctions on the restoration of Syria, the role of regional and extra-regional powers in the Syrian settlement, etc..The third session was devoted to the situation around the Iranian nuclear program and Russian-European cooperation on the possibilities of maintaining the JCPOA. 

At the end of the meeting, Andrey Kortunov and Julien Barnes-Dacey reaffirmed the desirability of further interaction between RIAC and the ECFR on the Middle East vector.

Russian side was represented at the event by Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General; Alexander Aksenyonok, RIAC Vice-President, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia; Vasily Kuznetsov, Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies, RAIC Member; Ruslan Mamedov, RIAC Program Coordinator; Ksenia Kirpichenko and Anna Shestopalova, Counsellors to the Permanent Mission of Russia to the EU.

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