Kerry, Trump Advisors to Attend Saban Forum This Weekend

President Obama participates in a conversation with Haim Saban at the 10th annual Saban Forum on Saturday.

President Obama participates in a conversation with Haim Saban at the 10th annual Saban Forum on Saturday.


The annual Saban Forum taking place in Washington, D.C. this weekend will focus on the challenges awaiting the incoming Trump administration in the Middle East, with the participation of high-profile American and Israeli leaders and top diplomats.

According to Brookings Executive Vice President Martin Indyk, the presidential transition is a “perfect opportunity to review the lessons of the past and forge ideas for future policy.”

Speakers at the high-level annual confab, convened by Hollywood mogul Haim Saban and the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, include Secretary of State John Kerry, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, former Mideast peace envoy Tony Blair, Senator Lindsey Graham, among others.

President-elect Trump’s special advisor on Israel David Friedman and foreign policy advisor Walid Phares will also be among the participants, according to a news release.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was a featured speaker at last year’s conference. In her speech, later distributed by her campaign as a policy paper on Israel, Clinton promised to take the U.S. relationship with Israel “to the next level.”

“This is a time of great change in the Middle East and in Washington,” Haim Saban, chairman of the Saban Forum, said in a statement. “With so much at stake, and so much in flux, our annual U.S.-Israeli dialogue is more important than ever.

Other dignitaries and experts participating in the 2016 Saban Forum include Israeli opposition leader Issac Herzog, Ministers Ayelet Shaked, Yisrael Katz, and Tzachi Hanegbi; former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Mike Rogers, and Ambassadors Ron Dermer and Dan Shapiro.


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