How can a Regional Accord Help end the War in Syria?

As the devestating conflict in Syria enters its 4th year leading experts and policy-makers from the region will discuss how regional actor can be drawn into a diplomatic process towards a resolution.


Martin Lidegaard, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Denmark

Farhad Atai, Professor of Regional Studies, University of Tehran

Osman Dincer, Researcher, International Strategic Research Organisation, Ankara

Abdel Aziz Uwaisheq, Professor, Georgetown University, Qatar GCC. Assistant Secretary General for Negotiations and Strategic Dialogue

Hayder el-Khoei, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, London

Lina Khattib, Director, Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut

Nir Rosen, Special Advisor, Middle East & North Africa Regional Office, Humanitarian Dialogue Centre

Mina Al-Oraibi, Assistant Editor in Chief, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Kayhan Barzegar, Director, Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies, Tehran

Ziya Meral, Turkish Researcher and Commentator, University of Cambridge

Abdullah Al Dardari, Former Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Syria

Basma Kodmani, Executive Director, Arab Reform Initiative


Chaired by

Julien Barnes-Dacey, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR, London

Daniel Levy, Director, Middle East and North Africa Programme, ECFR, London

Helle Malmvig, Senior Researcher, DIIS


Eigtveds Pakhus, Sal III

Asiatisk Plads 2 G

1448 Copenhagen K



Tuesday, 27 May 2014, 8.30-16.30



The conference is hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) together with DIIS, Danish Institute for International Studies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (UM).



The Syrian conflict is entering its fourth year with devastating humanitarian and political consequences. More than 150.000 have been killed and over 9 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. The regional consequences of the conflict are also severe; the fragile political balances in neighboring states are under pressure, old territorial borders are challenged, and sectarianism and identity politics are on the rise.

Indeed the conflict has emerged as a key battleground for regional rivalries and zero-sum competitions. The main powers of the region are fighting for regional influence and continue to use identity politics to gather regional support and thwart off domestic discontent. While much attention has been devoted to the way regional actors are fuelling the Syrian conflict, this conference aims to discuss how regional actors can be drawn into a diplomatic process and ultimately be given a stake in a political solution.

Leading experts and policy-makers from the region are therefore invited to debate key issues such as: What are the main security concerns and motivations that drive regional powers’ involvement in Syria, what kind of domestic power-sharing arrangement may be envisaged and supported by regional powers, and what may regional actors concretely deliver in terms of de-escalatory policies?


Event registration

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