Monday, March 29, 2010

Iran: Eurasian Media Forum - senior officials from Iran to discuss fraught relations with the West

Senior officials from Iran are expected to discuss their country's fraught relations with the West during the annual Eurasian Media Forum (EAMF) to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on April 27 - 28.

An analysis of the issues that keep Iran in the world news headlines will be one of the highlights of this year's two-day conference, along with other topical themes such as the impact of Kazakhstan's current chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Also on the agenda are questions of media law and media freedom, the dangers of alarmist reporting of epidemics, the use of online social networks like Facebook and Twitter, 'citizen journalism' and celebrity politicians.

The Iranian delegates are Ramin Mehmanparast, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, and Ali Akbar Ashari, Cultural Advisor to the President and Director of the National Library and Archives of Iran. Other speakers include William Courtney, the first US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Dunja Mijatovi, newly appointed OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, on her first official engagement, and Robert Simmons of NATO, Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia.

"The Forum is a unique opportunity to take the pulse of East-West relations and examine the crucial role played by the mass media," said Dariga Nazarbayeva, chair of the Eurasian Media Forum Organizing Committee. "And what better place to do this than in the hospitable heart of Central Asia?"

The Forum has been held every year since 2002 in Almaty, the commercial capital of Kazakhstan, which straddles the ancient Silk Road between China and Europe. The event brings together several hundred delegates from all over the world, many from Russia and the CIS countries, including media representatives, political figures and specialists in international relations

The discussions are always topical, with particular emphasis on issues that affect the countries of Central Asia and their biggest neighbours, China and Russia, India and Pakistan. The Forum also tackles economic, cultural and professional media questions.

Prominent participants at past sessions have included former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, ex-Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, American strategists Richard Holbrooke and Richard Perle, former United States National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Wesley K. Clark,

Source Eurasian Media Forum Organizing Committee

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