EWI’s Martin Fleischer Speaks at First World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) Conference in Tehran
The EastWest Institute took part in the first conference on World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE), held in Tehran, Iran, on December 9-10, 2014.
EWI’s Vice President for Regional Security Martin Fleischer spoke on the panel on Violence and Extremism in the Asian context, together with the deputy foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Armenia.
Outlining EWI’s Afghanistan Reconnected initiative, which aims at stabilizing post-2014 Afghanistan and its neighbors through revitalizing the regional economy, Fleischer encouraged a more active Iranian participation in this process. On the challenge of politically countering the so-called Islamic State, he called for a regional dialogue which would include influential actors not present at this conference (alluding inter alia to Saudi Arabia) and offered EWI’s good services in that regard.
Ambassador Fleischer also gave an interview to Iranian state-TV IRINN, expressing the view that a major responsibility for countering Islamic State ideologically lies with Muslim communities both in the region and in Western countries. Asked for his assessment of the conference, he appreciated the Iranian WAVE initiative within the United Nations as a move towards Iran’s assuming its role as a responsible regional power that constructively engages with its neighbors and the international community.
High-level policy makers, including current and former heads of government, ministers, and parliamentarians from across the globe, but mainly from the Middle East, Asia, and Europe attended the conference. It was chaired by Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and inaugurated by President Hassan Rohani.
The invitation to EWI was conveyed by the Institute for Political and International Studies, a think tank linked to the Foreign Ministry of Iran, in light of EWI’s work on Countering Violent Extremism and its outreach to and engagement of Iran on a regional security issues. The conference provided an opportunity for the institute to present the scope of its trust-building work, expand ties with Iranian officials and develop its network in the MENA region.
For more information on the WAVE, visit the conference website.