Since 2014, the Middle East Institute (MEI) has convened the Middle East Dialogue, a Track 1.5 initiative involving current and former officials and senior experts from across the Middle East as well as from China, Europe, Russia and the United States. These meetings focus on the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and on the principles and architecture of a new regional cooperation framework in the Middle East. At the Dialogue’s most recent meeting in Baghdad, the group issued a consensus document outlining Good Neighborhood Principles for the Middle East.

Is a new regional cooperation framework possible in today’s Middle East? What are the principles and institutional architecture that would underpin this framework? What are the obstacles? What are realistic interim confidence-building measures? How can the international community assist in moving this process forward?

MEI is pleased to host a panel discussion involving participants from the Middle East Dialogue to examine the economic growth and peace dividends of regional cooperation, and the challenges in getting regional governments to embrace such an idea. The panel will feature Naufel al-Hassan, deputy chief of staff to the prime minister of Iraq; Abdallah al-Dardari, senior advisor on reconstruction for the MENA region at the World Bank; and MEI’s senior vice president for policy research and programs Paul Salem. The panel will be moderated by Randa Slim, director of MEI’s program on conflict resolution and Track II Dialogues.