europe

Germany downgrades participation in Warsaw summit

FM Maas will not attend controversial conference slammed as an ‘anti-Iran’ initiative

Ayhan Şimşek  | 11.02.2019
Germany downgrades participation in Warsaw summit

Berlin

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will not attend a controversial Middle East conference co-hosted by the U.S. and Poland in Warsaw, officials confirmed Monday.

“Foreign Minister Maas will not attend the Middle East conference in Warsaw,” a German diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity told Anadolu Agency.

He said Deputy Foreign Minister Niels Annen will attend the conference on Feb. 13 - 14

The U.S. and Poland announced the international ministerial meeting would discuss peace and security in the Middle East, and critical issues such as terrorism, missile development and proliferation.

But recent remarks by senior U.S. and Polish officials have led to speculations about an attempt to build an anti-Iran coalition.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the focus of the conference would be on Iran, while Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz confirmed Iranian officials were not invited.

Iran has denounced the meeting, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif saying it looked like a “desperate anti-Iranian circus”.

Nearly 50 countries, including Israel and several Arab states, reportedly confirmed their participation in the conference, which is officially known as the “Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East”.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to deliver a keynote speech at the conference.

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