Warsaw conference to focus on Iran, peace and stability in Middle East; PA boycotts conference; Netanyahu: conference to center on preventing Iran from further entrenchment in Syria, further aggression in region and attaining nuclear weapon.
Prime Minister Netanyahu will attend the Warsaw Summit this week where he will hold meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Vice President Mike Pence on Iran and Syria.
The US-sponsored ministerial conference is centered on the promotion of peace and security in the Middle East and will be attended by representatives and world leaders from over 70 countries. The conference will address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Syria, but will focus mainly on Iran. According to the US State Department, during the conference, “the ministerial will address a range of critical issues including terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region.”
Some of the goals of the conference are to find resolutions to Iran’s terror, missile program and efforts through its proxies in the region. The conference will also allow a platform for Gulf states and Israel to increase communication and cooperation within a public forum.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently finished a Middle East tour where he visited states under the Gulf Cooperation Council. During his tour, he met with Arab leadership on Iran and Syria, as well as the peace process in Israel, inviting regional leaders to the conference in Warsaw.
During his weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed his attendance and meetings with Pence and Pompeo. He stated Sunday morning, “This week I will leave for the peace and security conference in Warsaw. I will meet there with US Vice President Mike Pence, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and additional leaders. The first issue on the agenda is Iran – how to continue preventing it from entrenching in Syria, how to thwart its aggression in the region and, above all, how to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned the conference, claiming it is an effort to “bypass” the Arab Peace Initiative. The PA and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) continue their boycott of US efforts in relation to the peace process. PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat took to Twitter this week to condemn the conference and refuse an invitation, stating “The Warsaw Conference is an attempt at bypassing the Arab Peace Initiative and destroying the Palestinian National project… Our position remains clear: We are not going to attend this conference and reiterate that we have not mandated anyone to talk on behalf of Palestine.”
Russia also refused an invitation to the conference.