ANKARAThe Munich Security Conference kicked off Friday with world leaders attending the annual event virtually amid the pandemic.
In the opening address, conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger said that although leaders could not meet in person this year, "we remain deeply committed to our core mission, namely to provide a global platform for informal critical dialogue, dialogue on how to preserve peace, how to promote cooperation."
This year's conference will focus on how to rebuild and reform the transatlantic relations as well as how to tackle global challenges such as the pandemic and climate change together, said Ischinger.
He also thanked US President Joe Biden for choosing Munich as the venue for his first message addressed to US allies and partners in Europe.
"We are all interested in renewing this friendship, these partnerships, and it's such an encouraging signal to see the new president [Biden] using this opportunity to address us here at the Munich Security Conference. What a wonderful signal," also said Markus Soder, Minister-President of the Free State of Bavaria, in his opening remarks.
The conference, also called the "Davos for Defense," provides a platform to discuss transatlantic, foreign, and security policies.
This year, the fight against the pandemic and climate change will also be on the agenda.
US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson are among the participants.
UN chief Antonio Guterres, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, US envoy for climate John F. Kerry, and Bill Gate will also address the conference.
Biden will be the first sitting US president to address the Munich summit. He will address Europe for the first time since taking office. Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.