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Opening Panel; Monday, 31 October 2022
(Venue: Erbil Citadel)

16:00  Arrival at the Citadel.
16:15  Free and guided tours around the Citadel.
17:30: Registration & Refreshment
18:00 Session 1: Prevention of Violent Extremism in the Middle East

  • Morten Boas, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (Moderator)
  • Kamaran Palani, The Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Kari Osland, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Amjed Rasheed, Open Think Tank, Duhok
  • Adam Ravnkilde, Senior Strategic Advisor, EU Advisory Mission in Iraq

19:30 Buffet Dinner
21:00 End of Pre-Forum Day

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Day 1:  Tuesday, 1 November 2022
(Venue: Rotana Hotel)

08:00  Registration
08:55  Welcome and Introduction
09:00 Opening Remarks
09:15  Session 2: Crystal-Gazing the Middle East: Power Dynamics & Power Alignments.

  • Steve Bitner, The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Department of State, USA
  • Randa Slim, Middle East Institute, USA
  • Vali Nasr, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Lukman Faily, Iraqi Ambassador to Germany (Moderator)

10:30 Coffee Break
11:00  Session 3: Regional Actors in Iraq’s Neighbourhood: Time to Desecuritise Relations.

  • Elbrus Kutrashev, Russian Ambassador to Iraq
  • Kayhan Barzegar, Center for Middle East Strategic Studies, Tehran, Iran
  • Lahib Higel, International Crisis Group (Moderator)

12:00 Switch Panels
12:10  Session 4: The Challenge of Governance and Reform in Iraq and the KRI.

  • Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary General, UN
  • Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister, Kurdistan Regional Government
  • Talar Mumtaz Noore, Media & Civil Society (Moderator)

13:10 Lunch
14:15  Session 5: State-Building in Iraq: Tackling Iraq’s fragility and regaining its sovereignty.

  • Adnan Al-Zurfi, Leader of Iraqi Wafa Movement
  • Mohammed Salim Al-Ghabban, Fatih Coalition
  • Jafar Eminki, Kurdistan Democratic Party
  • Zainab Rabee, Journalist and Anchor (Moderator)

15:30 Tea Break
16:00  Session 6: Reforming Iraq’s Financial System: The Role of the Government and the Private Sector.

  • Jamal Kocher, Member of the Finance Committee, CoR, Iraq
  • Mohammed Al-Handhal, Iraqi Private Banks League
  • Shwan Ibrahim Taha, CEO, Rabee Securities, Iraq
  • Ava Nadir, Iraqi Communication and Media Commission (Moderator)

17:15 Switch Panels
17:25  Session 7: The KRG Looking Forward: Strategies, Challenges and Opportunities.

  • Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister, Kurdistan Regional Government
  • Randa Slim, Middle East Institute, USA

18:25  Closing Remarks
18:30 End of Day 1

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Day 2: Wednesday, 2 November 2022

08:00  Registration
09:00 Introduction
09:15  Session 8: Iraq’s Political System: Addressing Structural & Functional Weakness.

  • Abdul-Halim Al-Zuheri, Politician and Religious Leader
  • Ameer Al-Kinani, Advisor to the Iraqi President
  • Sadi Pira, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
  • Mohammed Husam Al-Husaini, Al-Hikma Movement
  • Noor Al-Majid, Journalist and Anchor (Moderator)

10:45 Coffee Break
11:15  Session 9: Iraq’s Multi-Layered Crises: The International Partners’ Priorities and Perspectives.

  • Alina Romanowski, US Ambassador to Iraq
  • Maurizio Greganti, Italian Ambassador to Iraq
  • Ville Varjola, European Union Ambassador to Iraq
  • Tanya Gilli-Khaylani, Former Member of Parliament, Iraq (Moderator)

12:30 Lunch
14:00  Session 10: Yezidis and Christians – Let us not Fail Them.

  • Meer Hazim Tahsin, Prince of Yezidis, President of Higher Spiritual Board of Yezidis
  • Ali Ilyas Haji Nasir, Baba Sheikh, Higher Spiritual Board of Yezidis
  • Najeeb Mikhaeel Moussa, Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul & Aqra
  • Mayan Khairy Saeed Beg, Khatoon of Yezidis
  • Najim Al-Jubouri, Governor of Nineveh
  • Sarhang Hamaseed, United States Institute of Peace (Moderator)

15:30 Panel Switch
15:40  Session 11:
Making Iraq Work for All

  • Nechirvan Barzani, President of Kurdistan Region of Iraq
  • Farhad Alaaldin, Chairman, Iraq Advisory Council

17:00 Closing Remarks
17:15 Refreshment and Networking
 18:00 End of MERI Forum 2022