- Press Releases
4th ROK-EU International Conference on Middle Eastern and North African Affairs to Take Place
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the European External Action Service (EEAS), will hold the 4th ROK-EU International Conference on Middle Eastern and North African Affairs at Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul from May 3 to 4.
2. At the upcoming conference, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Yoon Soon-gu and Ambassador of the European Union to the ROK Michael Reiterer will deliver welcoming remarks on behalf of the ROK and the EU, respectively. Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Jan Kubis will deliver a keynote speech under the theme “situation in the Middle East and the role of the international community, including the UN.”
o The conference will consist of five sessions under the themes “Conflicts and Coalitions in the Middle East,” “Post-ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” “The Future of Maghreb - Libya, Tunisia and Algeria,” “The Prospect of the Iran Nuclear Deal,” and “Palestinian and Israeli Issue.”
3. The ROK-EU International Conference on Middle Eastern and North African Affairs is a track-1.5 meeting attended by government officials and academics. The forthcoming conference will bring together about 30 prominent experts on the Middle East and government officials from home and abroad, who will participate in the conference as speakers, as well as about 80 members of the diplomatic corps in the ROK. Among the participants are Head of UNAMI Jan Kubis, Acting Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa at the EEAS Colin Scicluna, Advisor to Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa at the EEAS Alar Olljum, Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Dan Smith, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House Lina Khatib, Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) Ellie Geranmayeh, Distinguished Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Robin Wright, Professor of Hanyang University Lee Hee-soo, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Center at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies Jang Ji-hyang, and Assistant Professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy Kim Dong-suk.
4. The ROK government and the EU have co-hosted an international conference on Middle Eastern affairs every year since 2015 based on their strategic partnership. The ROK government will also hold an ROK-EU consultation on Middle East policy (heads of the ROK and EU delegations: Director-General for African and Middle Eastern Affairs Hong Jin-wook, and Acting Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa at the EEAS Scicluna) with the EU delegation to the upcoming international conference. In the consultation, the two sides will exchange views on the overall situation in the Middle East, and their Middle East policies.
5. The forthcoming conference, to be held amid the increasingly complex and uncertain situation in the Middle East, is expected to become a useful forum for the ROK, a responsible member of the international community, and the EU to engage in a constructive exchange of views on the situation in the Middle East and solutions to each issue, and thereby to refer to the outcome of the conference in devising their Middle East policies and coordinating policies, and to establish networks with key figures handling Middle Eastern affairs.
o During the conference, the Foreign Ministry will make use of official and unofficial occasions to explain the recent progress in Korean Peninsula affairs, including the results of the inter-Korean summit on April 27, to the EU’s key policy makers and participating experts, and to increase their understanding and support.
* unofficial translation