WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Hagel said that in the United States "we fundamentally make a mistake when we try to block great nations’ roles in the world."
"I have fundamentally believed a nation like Russia, which is one of the most significant nations in the world, one of the most powerful nations in the world…wants to have a role in the world," Hagel said at an Atlantic Council conference.
"I think you have to have Russia, Iran, the United States involved in helping bring some stability [to the Middle East]," Hagel said.
The security, political and cultural challenges in the Middle East make it a region where "there will never be a resolution" without some degree of stability, Hagel argued.
"You can only get stability if you bring the most powerful nations together," he added.