Poland says 11 Middle East countries to attend Warsaw Conference

Poland says 11 Middle East countries to attend Warsaw Conference

Agency News

WARSAW, Feb 12 : Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Monday that only 11 Middle East countries had confirmed their participation in the Warsaw Conference scheduled on Feb. 13-14.

"Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Israel, Yemen, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman and the United Arab Emirates have confirmed that their delegations will be led by ministers. Egypt and Tunisia are likely to send vice-ministers," Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said.

The US administration is organizing the conference and has invited Arab states and Israel to the conference, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying it aims to deal with Iran's "destabilising influence" in the Middle East.

Iran was not invited to attend the conference.

The conference is thought to be an attempt by the United States to build an anti-Iran coalition of hardliners. Last year, US President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal negotiated with Iran and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini said earlier that she cannot attend the Warsaw Conference as she is going to attend the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while the Warsaw Conference is held in the Polish capital.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is reportedly not attending, being replaced by a senior official in the Foreign Ministry. UK foreign affairs minister Jeremy Hunt has recently announced he would attend, while France representation at the ministerial level is still uncertain.

Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned the anti-Iran conference to be held by the US in Warsaw, describing the event as a "desperate" show that will only disgrace the participants.

His remarks came in response to Pompeo's statement that the meeting would "focus on Middle East stability and peace, freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence." (XINHUA)