The first session of the 10th AlJazeera Forum focused on regional and international struggles and the subsequent geopolitical and sectarian repercussions.

Kicking off the discussion, the Prime Minister of the Syrian Interim Government Ahmad Tomeh said it was inconceivable that the situation in Syria, which has been gripped by war for five years, would become so complex.

“We in Syria never imagined that the Syrian case would reach such a degree of complexity, nor did we imagine that countries would summon each other to attack Syria,” he said, adding that some sought to “eliminate” the war-torn nation.

Multiple actors control the Syrian crisis, he said.

“But that does not relieve us from saying that we, the Syrian opposition, have failed to identify our national project,” he said. 

For his part, Iraqi MP Dhafer al-Aniis, spoke about Iran’s “schemes” in his country and the Islamic Republic’s rejection of efforts to have Iraq under the “Arab umbrella.”

“In Iraq, there is only one foreign agenda that seeks to monopolize its wealth and assets, namely the Iranian project,” he said.

“I do not believe that Iraq is an arena for conflict between international forces … Why does Iran behave in such a way regarding Arab endeavors toward Iraq?”

He added that Iran fights against “influential Arab thought” to be able to “devour the country” in the future.

Meanwhile, Abdulaziz Sager, chairman of the Gulf Research Center, touched on what he called “the Arab spring phenomenon.”

He said, “The wave of the Arab spring raised four elements that will determine the future of the world and the Middle East in the coming period: the future of current political systems, the future of the nation or regional state, the future external role of the Arab world and the role of armed non-state actors.”