49th Munich Conference Focuses on Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Mali

by Colonel on February 2, 2013

“The Munich Conference on Security Policy that kicks off in Munich later today will focus on ways to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

According to the Voice of Russia correspondents, the participants will take up Iran’s nuclear programme, the situation around North Korea’s preparations for an underground nuclear test, as well as the situation in Syria and Mali.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will address the conference to set forth Moscow’s stance on international security problems, including the ways to settle the Middle East and North Africa crises.

Lavrov has been scheduled to meet the US Vice President Joseph Biden and the UN and Arab Leaguer special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will take part in the 49th Security Conference in Munich, ministry’s spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has said.

” — Copyright 2013 JTW/The Voice of Russia

“Speaking at the 49th International Munich Security Conference on Sunday, [Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu said that the psychology of the Middle East and some other regions should be understood well as their regimes had been changing for the first time since 1950-60s.

Davutoglu welcomed Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s taking initiatives about Syria issue.

Noting that he held an 8-hour meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in August 2011, Davutoglu said that he recommended Assad to talk to opposition but Assad defined the opposition as terrorists.

” — Copyright 2013 Networx e-media solutions

“Foreign leaders gathered on a conference stage here Friday to urge international action in Syria and Mali, but the real progress may take place on the sidelines of the event.

Vice President Joe Biden will meet separately on Saturday with Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib, UN Special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov at the Munich Security Conference as all sides strive for a resolution to the 22-month conflict.

Al-Khatib, who spoke with Brahimi during a Friday panel discussion on the war, repeated an offer to meet with Syrian government officials, but only under strict conditions including the release of thousands of political prisoners.

Brahimi also urged international action, calling it the only solution to quell a country being torn apart by war.

” — Steven Beardsley, Copyright 2013 Stars and Stripes

“Iran and the United States are on the verge of a historical opportunity to repair their frozen relations and thus reverse the spiral of conflict spiral that for years has dominated their interactions. It is the right thing to do and at the right time, given the fact that more often than not past opportunities were lost simply because one side or the other was not “ready”.

Fortunately, today’s situation is different and that is a cause for cautious optimism in light of positive statements from US and Iranian officials, particularly by US Vice-President Joseph Biden who, while attending the 49th Munich Security Conference, announced US’s readiness to engage in serious dialogue with Iran, a move that was immediately reciprocated by Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akba Salehi, who termed Biden’s remark as a welcome “step forward.”

” — Kaveh L Afrasiabi, Copyright 2013 Asia Times Online Ltd

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