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139th Bergedorf Round Table

Iraq and its Neighbourhood: Strategies for Stability

Damascus (February 22 – 24, 2008)

Although the situation in Iraq has improved somewhat, the Iraq Conflict still represents an enormous burden for the political, economic and social stability of its neighbours. On the one hand, Iraq’s neighbours are being confronted with streams of refugees, extremism and terrorism, along with religious tensions between Shiites and Sunnis. On the other, the weakening of the Iraqi state has led to the disappearance of an important regional security factor.

How can the dangers to regional stability emanating from Iraq be confined? How can problems be solved through regional co-operation? How could a stable balance of power in this region look in the future? What specific expectations are being placed on the role of external actors such as the EU and the USA? In Syria the results of the Iraq conflict are particularly evident. At the same time, Syria’s policies are an important factor for the situation in Iraq.

Chaired by former German President Dr. Richard von Weizsäcker and moderated by Professor Dr. Perthes, director of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, politicians and experts from Europe and the USA, along with Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Jordan, analysed the consequences of the Iraq conflict for its neighbours and developed concrete suggestions for stabilising the region.

An article (PDF) based on Dr. Rosemary Hollis’ contributions during the 139th Bergedorf Round Table was published on July 9, 2008, in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The dialogue with partners from the Middle East has become a key issue of the Bergedorf Round Table and its almost five decades of work. Recent Round Tables have focused on “The Middle East and Western Values” (Isfahan 2003), the question of “Forging a Just World Order” (Cairo 2005), “Stability in the Persian Gulf” (Dubai 2005), (Washington D.C. 2006) as well as “Turkey as a Partner for European Foreign Policy in the Middle East” (Istanbul 2007).

The results of the confidential deliberations had been documented in the 139th Bergedorf Protocol, which is published by the edition Körber-Stiftung.

Downloading Protocol (PDF):

Complete Protocol
Discussion transcript
Photo documentation
Appendix (Biographies, Glossary, Literature)

List of Participants

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