Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Many regional and European states failed to send senior officials to a US-sponsored summit to discuss peace and security
- The summit will exacerbate divisions by throwing them into relief.
- Washington may pile pressure on those without senior representation to fall in line.
- Palestinians will become increasingly isolated as Gulf states align with Israel against Iran.
On February 13-14, Washington sponsored a Middle East security summit in Warsaw, focusing on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Officially a “ministerial conference”, many countries sent low-level delegations or stayed away.
Regional states close to Tehran or seeking a balanced foreign policy did not send ministers, reflecting Washington’s polarising diplomacy. Gulf states were strongly represented, despite the Palestinian Authority’s boycott appeal and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s prominent role.
Many European countries sent junior officials, highlighting differences over Iran, which was not invited. Those that sent ministers were mainly Eastern Europe nations with little regional involvement. Some likely attended to snub Russia, which opposed the event.
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