February 2019 Warsaw Conference

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February 2019 Warsaw conference
Host country Poland
Date13–14 February 2019
CitiesWarsaw, Poland
Participants(Hadi Government)

February 2019 Warsaw Conference, commonly known as the US-led Middle East conference in Warsaw,[1] took place on 13 and 14 February 2019 in Warsaw, capital of Poland.[2][3][4][5][6][7] The conference was hosted by Poland and the United States.[8][4][5][6] According to the joint official announcement of the meeting, the issues of the event were: “terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region”.[9] In early February, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said that the purpose of the conference is to focus on "Iran’s influence and terrorism in the region".[4][9][10] However, after the European objections to the purpose, the United States was forced to backtrack on planning to build a global coalition against Iran.[9][10]

The Warsaw Conference became the semi-official ground for the Arab-Israeli pact against Iran,[11] in light of the Iran–Israel proxy conflict and the Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict. The coalition emerged in 2017, upon warming ties between Israel and the Gulf States and received broad media attention in light of the February 2019 Warsaw Conference.

Press Conference[edit]

Secretary Pompeo Participates in a Joint Press Conference With Polish Foreign Minister Czaputowicz

On 12 February, US Secretary of State and Polish Foreign Minister had a press conference, one day before the summit on the “peace and security for the Middle East” officially begins. Pompeo said that more than 60 states are participating in the Warsaw summit.[12]

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview while in Warsaw: "We want the Iranian people to have the opportunity to live in a prosperous, peaceful society, and one that is controlled by their desires, their wishes.”[13]

Reactions[edit]

The first day of the meetings, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote on Twitter that the meeting with Arab leaders was to reach a “common interest of war with Iran", repeated in a press release.[14][15] Later the tweet was deleted, and the press release amended to "common interest of combatting Iran".[16][17][18]

Iran has protested over the conference, calling it a hostile move.[19] The foreign policy chief of the European Union, Federica Mogherini said that she will not attend the Warsaw meeting, "which has received a cool reception from European countries."[4][19] Russia's Foreign Ministry also released a statement on 22 January and cited that Russian officials will not attend the conference, which it described as an "anti-Iran platform."[4] Major European powers such as Germany and France, refused to send their top diplomats over fears that the summit was designed mainly to build an alliance against Iran.[1]

British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, agreed to attend the summit but only on the condition that the United Kingdom, United States, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia hold a meeting on the margins about Yemen.[20]

Speaking in Warsaw, US Vice president called the regime in Iran the “greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East”.[21] Mike Pence, criticized some European countries trying to weaken US sanctions against Iran and said Iran is after “another holocaust”.[22]

Former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani said in a press conference in Warsaw that Tehran should be isolated [23]

Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to United States said the reason for his taking part in Warsaw summit was, “"to take a firm stand against forces that threaten the future of peace and security," in particular Iranian.[24]

On 13 and 14 February, a group of supporters of the national Council of Resistance of Iran organisation that favor "regime change" in the Islamic Republic of Iran, held a rally in Warsaw to coincide with the conference. The organisation was once branded a terrorist group by the United States government. The former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attended the rally and demanded stronger policies against the Iranian government and its human-rights violations.[25][26][27][28]

Speaking at the rally held by several hundred Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) supporters in Warsaw, former New York Mayor Mr. Giuliani said any peace plan in the region needs a “major change in the theocratic dictatorship in Iran”.[29]

Speakers at MEK rally in Warsaw also included Sid Ahmad Ghozali, a former prime minister of Algeria, Robert Torricelli, a former US Democratic senator, along with several members of Polish parliament.[30]

The Palestinian militant-resistance group and the ruling party in Gaza Hamas has denounced the conference in which the "Israeli leaders who keep perpetrating heinous crimes against the Palestinian people, desecrating holy sites, and denying the Palestinians of their basic rights."[31] Similarly, the spokesperson of the Houthis Mohammed Abdul-Salam, also opposed the Warsaw conference stating that “The establishment of an administration in exile has forced former Yemeni regime officials to consent to normalization of ties with Israel, and follow in the footsteps of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.” in which that event has severely damaged the Palestinian cause and "treachery". Abdul-Salam also said “Peace in Yemen can’t be secured through capitulation to Israel."[32]

Turkey also refused an invitation by the United States to attend a summit in Warsaw on countering Iranian influence in the Middle East, on the grounds that it "targets one country", in particularly Iran.[33] However, Turkey didn't denounce the participation of Azerbaijan, a fellow Turkic country and ally of Turkey nor Azerbaijan's anti-Iranian stance.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pietromarchi, Virginia. "US-led Middle East conference in Warsaw: All you need to know". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Iran summons Polish diplomat over planned 'anti-Iranian' Warsaw conference". CNN. 13 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  3. ^ "US allies try to dilute anti-Iran agenda for Warsaw summit". Al-Monitor. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e "U.S. Says Mideast Conference In Warsaw Not Aimed At Demonizing Iran". Middle East News. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Poland reacts to Iran's position on upcoming anti-Iran conf. in Warsaw". Mehr News Agency. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b "US to host Iran-focused summit in Poland next month". Al Jazeera. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Upcoming anti-Iran conference in Poland 'desperate circus': FM Zarif". Press TV. 12 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  8. ^ "US to host Middle East focused conference in Poland next month". www.thefirstnews.com. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  9. ^ a b c "US backtracks on Iran-focused conference in Poland after objections". The Guardian. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b "US backtracks on Iran-focused conference in Poland after EU objections". Irna. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  11. ^ Tibon, Amir (13 February 2019). "Warsaw Summit Will Test U.S. Gamble on Israeli-Arab Pact Against Iran" – via Haaretz.
  12. ^ "Pompeo: Over 60 Countries Are Attending Warsaw Summit". Iran International. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  13. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "The Latest: Pence accuses Russia of trying to divide NATO". The Washington Times.
  14. ^ "Benjamin Netanyahu hastily deletes tweet calling for 'war with Iran'". Washington Examiner. 13 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Netanyahu seems to say Israel, Arabs share goal of war with Iran". NBC News.
  16. ^ Axelrod, Tal (13 February 2019). "Israeli prime minister's office deletes tweet mentioning 'war with Iran'". TheHill.
  17. ^ "Israeli Leader Sees 'Common Interest' in Confronting Iran". New York Times. Associated Press. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  18. ^ "PM Netanyahu's Remarks after his Meeting with Oman's Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs" (Press release). Israel: Prime Minister's Office. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Iran not invited, Russia snubs intl conference on Middle East – Warsaw". RT. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  20. ^ editor, Patrick Wintour Diplomatic (25 January 2019). "UK to attend US summit on Iran on condition of Yemen talks". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Mike Pence: Iran is greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East". Arab News. 14 February 2019.
  22. ^ Pence accuses Iran of pursuing 'another Holocaust,' lashes out at allies
  23. ^ "Iran denounces US-led Middle East conference in Warsaw". www.aljazeera.com.
  24. ^ "World powers gather for Warsaw Middle East summit expected to pressure on Iran". Arab News. 13 February 2019.
  25. ^ "Iranians rally in support of resistance at Warsaw Conference". Saudi Gazette. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Free Iran Rally in Warsaw calls for recognition of Iranian people's right to overthrow regime". Albspirit. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  27. ^ Writer, Staff. "Iranians Rally Outside Warsaw Summit for Second Day, Call for Regime Change". Official Website of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. NCRI is a broad coalition of democratic Iranian organizations and personalities founded in 1981 in Tehran by Massoud Rajavi. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  28. ^ "Rudy Giuliani appears on stage with anti-Tehran group once branded terrorists". amp.ft.com. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  29. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times.
  30. ^ https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/02/13/president-trumps-lawyer-rudy-giulianis-bashing-iran-poland-mek-mujahedeen-khalq/2857564002/ Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's side project: Bashing Iran, in Poland
  31. ^ [1][dead link]
  32. ^ "PressTV-'Submission to Israel can't secure peace in Yemen'". Presstv.com. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  33. ^ https://en.mehrnews.com/news/142481/Turkey-not-to-attend-anti-Iran-Warsaw-summit