Hillary Clinton and Manouchehr Mottaki to attend Manama Dialogue

October 25, 2010

Hillary Clinton


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will be in the same hall in Manama in December as they lead the delegations of their respective countries to an international security conference in the Bahraini capital.

Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his British counterpart, William Hague, will also be attending the three-day Manama Dialogue, Bahrain’s foreign minister has said.

“We are looking at an outstanding forum in the presence of such illustrious names alongside other senior officials,” Shaikh Khalid said. “There will be significant debates on the major issues in the region as well as the US role in the area,” he told Al Bilad daily.

Although Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, twice attended the forum in 2007 and 2008 in a clear indication of the importance the US is attaching to the annual security conference, no US secretary of state has ever taken part.

In December 2006, then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to attend, but eventually stayed home to deal with the unexpected repercussions of the Baker-Hamilton report on Iraq.

Last month, Mottaki, who gave speeches at the forum in 2006 and 2009, confirmed that he would be attending.

“I thank Bahrain’s foreign ministry for the invitation to attend the Manama Dialogue in December and I am delighted to be present at this significant meeting that discusses several important issues related to broadening dialogue and understanding between the countries of the region and the rest of the world,” Iran’s top diplomat, said following a meeting with Shaikh Khalid in New York.

The Manama Dialogue, to be held on December 3 to 5, is co-organised by Bahrain’s foreign ministry and the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and brings together senior political and security officials from several countries, including the US, Britain and Iran.

This year’s agenda topics include the role of the US in regional security, regional security cooperation, Asia, strategic reassurance and deterrence in the region, the changing international framework and regional security, as well as the changing nature of regional security issues.

There will also be debates on Yemen’s future, maritime security operations and international cooperation, Iraq and regional and military cooperation.

However, there will be no special debate over Iran and its perceived role in the region, a theme that has previously dominated regional security discussions.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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