Tue. Mar 19th, 2019

US to host Iran-focused summit in Poland next month

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The United States plans to jointly host a global summit focused on Iran and the Middle East next month in Poland, the US State Department has said.

The international gathering will take place in Warsaw from February 13 to 14, it said in a statement on Friday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in an interview to air on Friday 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 destabilising influence”.

Pompeo is visiting a number of Middle Eastern countries this week in an effort to bolster support in the region in the midst of a number of developments, from the US troop withdrawal from Syria to the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar and the killing of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey last year.

During his eight-day trip through the region, Pompeo has said that the US is “redoubling” its efforts to put pressure on Iran and sought to convince allies in the region that it was committed to fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group despite Trump’s recent decision to pull US troops out of Syria.

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In a speech on Thursday in the Egyptian capital Cairo, Pompeo vowed to “expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria and urged regional rivals to come together to confront Iran.

“It’s time for old rivalries to end, for the sake of the greater good of the region,” Pompeo said.

The State Department said there were strong shared interests in Middle East stability.

“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,” it said.

Pompeo said the US will bolster efforts “to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people”.

He added that the summit would include representatives from countries around the world to address Iran’s regional influence as the Trump administration seeks to find points to pressure Tehran on.

Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions on Tehran, even as other partners in the deal, including China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom, have sought to maintain it.

In a shift earlier this week, the European Union moved to impose some sanctions on Iranian entities.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/host-iran-focused-summit-poland-month-190111142821863.html

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