King Felipe VI and Bernardino Leon on the sidelines of the fifth World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies in Seville. Image Credit: Courtesy: Emirates Diplomatic Academy

Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) held a networking reception in the presence of King Felipe VI of Spain at the fifth World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) in Seville, Spain.

The inaugural reception of the congress drew the participation of over 200 dignitaries and experts from Spain and the Middle East studies community worldwide.

The event took place on the opening day of WOCMES, which is running from July 16 to 22 and convenes nearly 3,000 scholars, media representatives and diplomacy professionals from over 70 countries.

Addressing the audience at the opening ceremony, King Felipe VI said: “The Mediterranean must be the shared space of peace, prosperity and stability for which our citizens yearn. This goal requires a joint responsibility that goes beyond the countries of the Mediterranean because the stability and prosperity of European societies is — and has always been — closely linked to the destiny of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa.”

Bernardino León, director-general of EDA, speaking on the occasion, said: “It is a great honour for EDA to host His Majesty King Felipe VI. His Majesty’s attendance is testimony to the academy’s progress in promoting the UAE among the world’s most distinguished leaders.”

He added: “As the country’s leading international relations and diplomatic institution, EDA seeks to address questions, exchange knowledge and explore insights on the Middle East in the broadest sense. We make it our mission to enrich the world’s knowledge about Middle East governance, society and culture. Through our participation in WOCMES, we can showcase our research, develop our international networks and partnerships, and support the UAE’s foreign policy through dialogue with our peers from around the world.”

EDA will also hold an academic panel discussion with presentations from its faculty and students. The panellists will explore how the foreign policies of countries of the GCC region, particularly the UAE, are changing as they take on a more visible role in the wider region. The academy is also hosting an exhibition of books and other publications authored by its faculty to highlight its research at a dedicated stand throughout the week.