In the same time and place and in more stringent security arrangements and procedures over the past year, the Russian military leadership renewed the opening of the doors of its capital Moscow for the sixth time for the International Security Conference.
However, the influx of events and the growing role of Russia, especially in the Middle East, namely Syria, as well as the Ukrainian crisis, and the escalating pace of the North Korean-US clash, gave the sixth version of the World Russian Security Conference a different flavor in terms of presence and substance.
The sixth version shows the increasing demand for participation from its previous five years. About 20 defense ministers, 12 deputy defense ministers and heads of seven international organizations who attended the meeting before.
The number of guests exceeded 700, most of them from outside the Russian Federation, senior officers, researchers and security personnel.
As for Lebanon, which participated in the fifth edition of the conference in the past year, Minister of Defense “Samir Muqbel” has missed the current version of the conference.
Minister Yaqoub al-Sarraf, who has previously assured the organizers of his attendance, has apologized preferring a special visit in the near future would allow him to meet his Russian counterpart, Defense Minister Sergei Chego.
A delegation of senior officers involved in the “Arming and Equipping” files and armored corps, as well as a few researchers and academic figures, have presented Lebanon officially.
The Russian side does not hide its desire of the Lebanon official attendance at a higher representative level. Because of the priority of Lebanon on the Russian agenda and the role of its Lebanese army and its security apparatus, especially the public security, which its director general, “General Ibrahim Ibrahim”, had visited Moscow and met with senior security officials, leaving a very positive impression on the Russian officials who eager for further cooperation with the Lebanese leadership, whether politically, military or security.
The official opening scheduled to take place today with the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, presented by Secretary General of the National Security Council General Nikola Patrozich, Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shvoigo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Secretary-General of the United Nations presented by Vice-President of Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.
The curators of the conference hope to transform the conference into an effective platform for exchanging experiences on ways to preserve national, regional and international security.
A major Russian military source said to “aljoumhuria” that, “the fight against international terrorism is the main address of the conference, however the map of the countries that would have the highest level of debate would be from Europe and the neighboring Balkans to Asia and the Pacific, as well as the North Korean and Syrian crises.
In the events of the first day, Iran’s Defense Minister Hussein al-Dahqan will attend a panel discussion including the Defense Ministers of India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Brazil. The Iranian defense minister’s visit to Moscow is expected to include a series of agreements and more coordination on the Syrian issue.
But, the more “Fierce” discussion panel, is expected will include Maj. Gen. Fayyad al-Ruwaili, commander of the Saudi Royal Air Force, Deputy Minister of Defense Maj. Gen. Muhammad al-Shawa, and Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Abdel Halim Freihat, chairman of Jordan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. In addition to the Egyptian Defense Minister who is expected to attend and participate personally in the “panel discussion”.
It is noteworthy that the previous version of the conference did not gather in one panel discussion, of both the Syrian and Saudi sides, and shortened the meeting with the Egyptian envoy with his Syrian counterpart.
Will the public debate turn into an opportunity for far-off meetings to bridge the gap between Syria and its Arab adversaries under Russian auspices?
This is what no one can answer, despite the clear desire of the Russian leadership to narrow the scope of the Syrian differences with the neighboring and region countries, but the Arab wind seems not to go as Russian ships desire after the escalation of the Jordanian-Syrian conflict and the deepen of the Saudi-Syrian dispute.
However, the follow-up to what will take place in this debate and what may follow behind the scenes must stop at it.
In addition, it will stay surprising that the Lebanese presence is weaker than last year in hope that will be compensated with near meetings between the two sides, as Russia has a prominent role in the Middle East, especially on the Lebanese-Syrian border.
Synchrony, The third conference of Russia and the Islamic world will take place in the Russian capital, Moscow, with the participation of a group of Lebanese researchers and academics concerned with the fight against terrorism, both intellectually and informally.
Salem Zahran – Moscow – Al Joumhouria
ترجمة: رصد نيوز