The 14th Regional Security Summit: The IISS Manama Dialogue will take place in Bahrain on 26–28 October 2018.

Organised annually, the IISS Manama Dialogue provides a platform for participating states to exchange views on regional challenges. The IISS provides a vital forum for some of the most powerful policymakers from the region and beyond to agree on ways to address such pressing challenges collectively.

The 2017 edition drew together governmental delegations from over 20 countries, comprising a blend of prime ministers, defence ministers, foreign ministers, national security advisers, and military and intelligence chiefs.

The Dialogue provides opportunities for government leaders to deliver vitally important public statements about the evolving policy approaches to regional security. Crucially, it also facilitates private bilateral and multilateral meetings between participating states in order to advance immediate policy goals. Against this background, senior officials are able to engage with the leading experts in the region in a manner that can help to animate fresh policy thinking.


‘The IISS Manama Dialogue in Bahrain and IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore constitute extraordinary platforms for the conduct of defence diplomacy. For a European, they are essential windows into the politics of the Middle East and Asia respectively, and have given me tremendous opportunities to engage my fellow ministers from these regions.'

Ursula von der Leyen
German Minister of Defence

‘[I am] extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve in partnership over the past ten years. I know that this forum is one of the most important in the world.’

HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa
Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, Bahrain, 2014

'The security and defence of the Gulf ... is very very important indeed and this Dialogue allows us to discuss these things, to bring voices together, to make sure that we’re able to put in perspective what the solutions are’ .

The Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood
Member of UK Parliament, 2016 

'I want to congratulate the International Institute for Strategic Studies for the vision of this Dialogue and for convening what I am sure will be another thought-provoking conference. Every year this dialogue makes a valuable contribution to regional security, by giving the Gulf States and their partners the chance to discuss urgent challenges, bring new issues to light and find avenues for common action, toward common goals.' 

Hillary Clinton
Then-Secretary of State, US, 2010

'[The] Manama Dialogue [is] the primary security forum for the Middle East, just as the Shangri-La summit in Singapore is the primary security forum for the Asia-Pacific region.'
Jean-Yves Le Drian
Minister of Defence, France, 2014

'This annual conference, which grows in importance every year, has, been able to attract the elite from among senior political, academic and military figures, and specialists.’
Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani
Secretary General, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, 2014