Warsaw: A United States-led two-day summit on “peace and security” in the Middle East continued on Thursday.
The meeting was first announced last month by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after his strongly worded anti-Iran speech in Cairo and has been widely perceived as an effort to rally world powers behind Washington’s vision against Tehran.
But the conference comes at a sensitive moment as the European Union is trying to prop up JCPOA, the 2015 nuclear deal which was signed to prevent Tehran from building nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief. The US withdrew from the deal after President Donald Trump’s May 2018 decision.
After a lukewarm reception by invited parties, the angle of the conference focused on broader subjects of security in the region.
Poland has been resisting the urge to turn the summit into a propagandistic anti-Iranian meeting, underscoring its commitment to JCPOA.
The event is attended by about 60 countries and the agenda also covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fight against Daesh, Syria and Yemen.
But the bulk of the focus will be on Iran, and how to curtail the regime’s aggressive foreign policy in the region.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz greeted the attendees at the opening ceremony, including Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir.
Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, is expected to make a rare speaking appearance today.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will be there but has said he primarily wants to address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen – a war which his country is involved in.
Other European countries will send lower-level delegates and some Arab countries are sending delegations led by ministers.