'Valdai' meeting starts in Sochi
Sochi is hosting the first day of the 13th meeting of the International ‘Valdai’ Discussion Club. This year the forum is titled 'The contours of tomorrow's world'.
The meeting will take place from October 24th to 27th 2016, with 137 participants taking part in the discussions. President Vladimir Putin may also attend one of the meeting.
The forum will be attended by the First Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Shuvalov, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the Deputy Foreign Minister, special representative of the Russian President for the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov, the Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanai, the former president of Austria, Heinz Fischer and leading experts from 35 countries.
Former Syrian Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Abdullah al-Dardari, will participate in the 'Valdai' meeting for the first time.
"There is a quite competent international intellectual community, which sees its task to discuss the most important international issues," the chairman of the board for Support and development of ‘Valdai’ International Discussion Club, Andrei Bystritsky, noted.
According to him, the 13th 'Valdai' meeting will be attended by 137 guests, about 90 of them are foreigners. "We hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin will also attend the meeting," he added.
Each year, participants of the meeting discuss key issues of the global agenda for three days, among which settlements of acute crises, the situation in the Middle East, economic sanctions, as well as international security. This year, six separate sessions will be devoted to the Syrian settlement, the migration crisis, economy and the impact of new technologies on politics. A special session will be devoted to the future of the European Union and a further development of its relations with Russia.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, noted that the head of the Ministry Sergei Lavrov will share his vision of the current situation in international affairs at the meeting on October 27. He will also take questions from the audience.
The ‘Valdai' International Discussion Club was created in 2004. Over the years, it was attended by over 900 representatives of the international expert community from 62 countries.