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Berlin Foreign Policy Forum 2013

In 2013, discussions at the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum focused on the possibilities of a lasting agreement on the nuclear issues with Iran, on the security policy challenges in Asia, on the geopolitical implications of the upheavals in the Middle East, and on the consequences of the NSA surveillance scandal for the Transatlantic relations. Speaker included the Chairman of the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, H.R.H. Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Germany’s Minister of Defense Dr. Thomas de Maizière, the former US National Security Advisor Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Minister of State of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, Michael Georg Link.

Report

Politicians and Experts Discussed Current Affairs in the Middle East, Security in Asia and the Transatlantic Relations at the 3rd Berlin Foreign Policy Forum

On November 26, for the third time since 2011, the Körber Foundation and the German Federal Foreign Office invited more than 200 prominent politicians, government representatives, journalists and experts from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States to meet for a day in Berlin to discuss central issues of German and European foreign policy.

The 3rd Berlin Foreign Policy Forum opened with a keynote speech by Michael Georg Link, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office about future challenges for the European Union. Following the speech, there was a discussion about Iran and the West and what a lasting agreement on the nuclear issue could look like. The speakers were Hossein Mousavian, former Spokesman on Iran’s Nuclear File, Danielle Pletka, Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, and Ruprecht Polenz, former Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the German Bundestag.

The second panel focused on security policy challenges in Asia and their implications for Europe. Should Europe play a more active role in the region? Participants from Asia were Alka Acharya, Member of the National Security Advisory Board of the Indian Government, Rizal Sukma, Executive Director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta and Ambassador Gang Zhou, Member of the Foreign Policy Advisory Committee at the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Other panellists were the Foreign Policy and Security Advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, Christoph Heusgen and Andrew J. Nathan from Columbia University.

Over lunchtime, the participants split up into eight groups to discuss more specific issues of international relations such as the EU’s relations with its Eastern neighbors and Russia, the situation in Syria, Turkey’s role in the region or challenges of cyber security.

The second part of the conference opened with a keynote speech by Turki Al-Faisal about Saudi Arabia’s role in the region, which was followed by a speech by the former Prime Minister of Tunisia, Hamadi Jebali. Afterwards, both speakers discussed the geopolitical implications of the upheavals in the Middle East with Bassma Kodmani, Executive Director of The Arab Reform Initiative and Volker Perthes, Director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).

The last panel was devoted to the prospects of Transatlantic Relations. Minister of Defense, Thomas de Mazière, former National Security Advisor to the US President, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger and Charles A. Kupchan from the Council on Foreign Relations talked about the future of NATO and the repercussions of the NSA surveillance scandal for the Transatlantic Partnership.

This year again, the conference placed a particular emphasis on the participation by the young generation. Among the participants there were young journalists from the Henri-Nannen School of journalism, and members of the Körber Network Foreign Policy, the Munich Young Leaders and the FutureLab Europe. There was a livestream broadcast of the conference on our website. Internet users were able to contribute questions to the discussions via Twitter.

Speeches by Michael Georg Link (PDF) and Turki al-Faisal (PDF)
The Berlin Foreign Policy Forum on Facebook and Twitter

Participants

Videos

Welcome by Dr. Klaus Wehmeier

Keynote Speech by Michael Georg Link

Iran and the West
Panel discussion at the 3rd Berlin Foreign Policy Forum with Hossein Mousavian, Danielle Pletka and Ruprecht Polenz. Moderated by Theo Koll.

Security in Asia
Panel discussion at the 3rd Berlin Foreign Policy Forum with Alka Acharya, Christoph Heusgen, Andrew J. Nathan, Rizal Sukma and Gang Zhou. Moderated by Thomas Paulsen.

Keynote Speech by Turki al-Faisal

Keynote Speech by Hamadi Jebali

Geopolitical Upheavals in the Middle East
Panel discussion at the 3rd Berlin Foreign Policy Forum with Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Hamadi Jebali, Bassma Kodmani and Volker Perthes. Moderated by Paul Salem.

The Prospects for the Transatlantic Partnership
Panel discussion at the 3rd Berlin Foreign Policy Forum with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Thomas de Maizière, Wolfgang Ischinger and Charles Kupchan. Moderated by Robin Niblett.

Agenda

November 25, 2013

19:00
Reception at the Federal Foreign Office 

November 26, 2013

9:00 – 9:10
Welcome remarks by Dr. Klaus Wehmeier,
Vice Chairman of the Executive Board, Körber Foundation, Hamburg

9:10 – 9:30
Keynote Speech by Michael Georg Link, Minister of State, Federal Foreign Office, Berlin

Iran and the West
9:30 – 10:30
Ambassador Hossein Mousavian, Visiting Research Scholar, Princeton University; fmr. Spokesman on Iran’s Nuclear File, Princeton
Danielle Pletka, Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C.
Ruprecht Polenz, fmr. Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, German Bundestag
Moderator: Theo Koll, Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Policy, Domestic Policy and Educational Policy, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Mainz

Security in Asia
11:00 – 12:30
Prof. Dr. Alka Acharya, Professor for Chinese Studies, Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Member, National Security Advisory Board of the Government of India, New Delhi
Dr. Christoph Heusgen, Director-General, Foreign Policy and Security Advisor to the Federal Chancellor, Federal Chancellery, Berlin
Prof. Dr. Andrew J. Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, New York
Dr. Rizal Sukma, Executive Director, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta
Ambassador Gang Zhou, Member, Foreign Policy Advisory Committee, Foreign Ministry of China, Beijing
Moderator: Dr. Thomas Paulsen, Executive Director International Affairs, Körber Foundation, Berlin

Breakout Sessions – Lunch (see below)
12:30 – 14:30

Geopolitical Upheavals in the Middle East
14:30 – 16:00
H.R.H. Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Chairman, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh
Hamadi Jebali, Secretary General, Ennahda Movement; fmr. Prime Minister of Tunisia, Tunis
Dr. Bassma Kodmani, Executive Director, The Arab Reform Initiative, Paris
Prof. Dr. Volker Perthes, Director, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin
Moderator: Paul Salem, Vice President, The Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C.

The Prospects for the Transatlantic Partnership
16:30 – 18:00
Dr. Thomas de Maizière, Minister of Defense of the Federal Republic of Germany
Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Counselor and Trustee, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); fmr. National Security Advisor to the US President, Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman, Munich Security Conference, Munich
Prof. Dr. Charles A. Kupchan, Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C.
Moderator: Dr. Robin Niblett, Director, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London

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