The Middle East has recently gone through unprecedented turmoil that is destined to change its political and socioeconomic landscape. The impact of these changes will continue to affect the Middle East for years to come. Divergence and fragmentation of nations and communities throughout this region have reached critical levels, and provided fertile grounds for extremism and terrorism to thrive.

This year’s three day MERI Forum focused on Sharing Visions for the Future of the Middle East. It brought together senior ranking national and international policymakers, respected academics, and opinion-makers who engaged in spirited debate on wide-ranging topics from the Kirkuk conundrum, combating ISIS, the displacement crisis, the Iran nuclear deal and its implications for the regional politics, the political crisis in Kurdistan, Erbil-Baghdad relations and the challenges of keeping Iraq united. As in 2014, the second annual forum succeeded in generating a lively debate by prominent figures with the live participation of the audience as well as extensive national and international media coverage.

By bringing together leading figures in domestic and international politics, MERI aims to provide a platform for constructive dialogue to those committed to overcoming the crises currently facing the region – and will continue to do so in the future.