16th meeting of Valdai Discussion Club opens in Sochi

16th meeting of Valdai Discussion Club opens in Sochi

The 16th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club has opened in Sochi today. It will be held from September 30 until October 3.

This year’s topic is 'The Dawn of the East and the World Political Order.' At the forefront are questions about the influence of the East on the world order, and about a changing world where the role of Asia is growing and non-Western perspectives and political systems are coming to the fore, the club's website said.

The forum will be the culmination of the Club’s work during the preceding year, which has included a series of regional conferences and new formats for international dialogue, as well as events dedicated to the East in a broad sense.

This year, sessions will be attended by Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin. The regions will be presented by Vladimir Vasilyev, head of the Republic of Dagestan and Radiy Khabirov, head of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

Secretary General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Assistant Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt for Arab Affairs Mohamed Elbadri, Vice-Chairperson, Foreign Affairs Committee, National People’s Congress, People’s Republic of China Fu Ying, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia Damdin Tsogtbaatar will also attend the sessions of the forum.

On October 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with the presidents of Azerbaijan, Venezuela, Kazakhstan and the Philippines, Ilham Aliyev, Nicolas Maduro, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the Valdai club session.

Director of the Baku Network expert council Elkhan Aleskerov, speaking to the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Ilham Aliyev’s participation in the 16th Valdai meeting is explained by the strategic level of relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. "This meeting, devoted to the topic 'The Dawn of the East and the World Political Order', will consider the situation in the eastern direction of Russia's foreign policy. Azerbaijan, in turn, plays a significant role in the development and deepening of Russian foreign policy contacts in the Middle East and in the Muslim world as a whole. It’s enough to mention the Russia-Turkey-Azerbaijan and Russia-Iran-Azerbaijan formats, in the creation of which President Ilham Aliyev personally participated," he said.

"Russia's trust to Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan's trust to Russia gives other Islamic countries the opportunity to establish relations with Moscow. In addition, our countries have common geopolitical interests against the background of ongoing riots and instability in the immediate environment of Russia and Azerbaijan, as well as Turkey and Iran. In connection with this, Ilham Aliyev’s participation in the Valdai forum, as well as his planned statement outlining Azerbaijan’s views on events in the Middle East, was quite expected," Elkhan Aleskerov noted.

"Azerbaijan can assist Russia's foreign policy, since the republic is a respected member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Azerbaijan is a successful multicultural model of the state, our country has managed to establish relations with both Shiite and Sunni countries in the region. The Republic organizes major international events with Islamic countries. in which Azerbaijan’s position is based on a call for peace and solidarity. In this context, Ilham Aliyev’s participation in Valdai means that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to Russia. Obviously, there is an understanding that Baku's views on the processes of the Islamic world are of interest to Moscow," the director of the Baku Network expert council concluded.