Two main issues stand out in a regional conference held in Beirut: The implications of Russia's policy in Ukraine for the Middle East, and the effects of an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 regarding Tehran's peaceful nuclear program.
Notably it was the Russian perspective which was heard first by the participants, in an obvious reflection of Russia's role in the Middle East. Iran's role was also discussed in the conference. Participants said Iran is considered a major player in the region, however the US has yet to take the stance that Iran is part of a solution in Syria, something made evident in Tehran's absence from the Geneva 2 conference on Syria. This conference indeed shows the new challenges and new players rising in the Middle East. One thing for certain is that the region is no longer under the control of one power. This in turn will bring about big changes in the region and could even have a positive impact on certain sides.