US and NATO leaders invited to the conference have not yet officially announced whether they intend to participate. Observers in Moscow know that the Americans will probably boycott the conference sponsored by the Russian leadership. The conference, which will begin on Wednesday under the title International Security Conference in Moscow, will be opened by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
According to the schedule, the defense minister will meet with Shoygu and Lavrov outside the conference to clarify the issues involved in the arrangements the Russians are leading regarding the future of Syria. Lieberman's meeting with the Russian defense minister will be the first meeting between the two men. It is reasonable to assume that one of the main issues that will arise during the meeting will be the collaboration between Israel and Russia in the Syrian arena in light of the Russian reprimand to Israel following the air strikein Syria a few weeks ago.
There is an open line of communications between the Russian Defense Ministry and Israel that serves as an understanding between the two sides so as to avoid friction between the air and naval forces operating in nearby arenas in Syria. In addition, the head of the Israeli Operations Branch meets his Russian counterpart once every two months in Moscow and Tel Aviv.
Also set to attend the conference are countries such as Jordan, Indonesia, Cuba, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Brazil. Among the issues planned for the conference are also controversial issues between Russia and the United States, such as "an up-to-date definition of the international system in a multi-polar era."
The Russians are devoting a panel to issues of conflict resolution worldwide including Asia and the Pacific with a well timed reference to the North Korean crisis.
In a panel on the Middle East, the emphasis is on the struggle against radical movements, but not necessarily on Islamic movements. The Defense Ministry said the meetings were of paramount importance to Israel's security.
(Translated and edited by N. Elias)