The US-led Middle East summit kicked off on Wednesday in Warsaw, Poland with the participation of representatives from 60 countries. Through the summit, the US seeks to increase the pressures on Iran, despite European critics to the summit.
Poland is not known for being involved in the Middle East crisis, but it is co-hosting the summit with the US, which gathered international and Arab representatives to discuss peace and security in the Middle East, amid the rise of tensions between the US and Iran.
On 12 January, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced from Cairo that the summit will be held from 13 to 14 February in Poland in order to support stability and freedom in the Middle East, and to highlight the Iranian regional influence.
Pompeo said that the US is redoubling its efforts to put pressures on Iran, and sought to convince its allies in the region that it was committed to fighting the Islamic State group, despite the US President’s Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull the US troops out of Syria.
He called for ending all conflicts in the Middle East and countering the Iranian influence in the region. In a speech at the American University in Cairo, Pompeo stressed his country’s commitment to erase the Iranian influence in the Middle East, and ending the Iranian presence in Syria.
He noted that the US will use diplomacy, will work with its partners to expel every last Iranian boot from Syria, and will bolster the efforts “to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people.”
The French and German Foreign Ministers announced boycotting the summit, amid escalation with the US after the latter pulled out from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, ignoring the warnings of the European allies who stressed that they will uphold the deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, said that she will not attend the Warsaw conference.
Israel, Jordan, and the Gulf countries are participating in the summit, while Palestine and Lebanon announced boycotting it. Some European countries sent lower-level delegates, and some Arab countries are sending delegations led by ministers.
On the other side, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, described Poland’s hosting for the summit as shameful in light of the fact that Iran saved the Polish people during World War II.
“The Polish government cannot wash the shame: while Iran saved the Polish people in WWII, it now hosts a desperate anti-Iran circus,” Zarif tweeted.