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Munich security ‘conference’ discusses combating terrorism

Kuwait backs peace everywhere: Al-Jarrah

A Syrian man carries an infant rescued from the rubble of buildings following government bombing in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on Feb 19. Heavy Syrian bombardment killed 44 civilians in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, as regime forces appeared to prepare for an imminent ground assault. (AFP)

MUNICH, Germany, Feb 19, (KUNA): Combating terrorism and relations between countries as well as concerns over military confrontations by using nuclear weapons featured high on the agenda of the 54th Session of the Munich Security Conference, which concluded on Sunday.

In the first day of the conference, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah said that Kuwait backs peace everywhere and stands by states to resolve conflicts. Sheikh Khaled made the statement to KUNA, affirming his participation in Munich Security Conference is based on Kuwait’s keenness to continue making mediation efforts to resolve differences between countries diplomatically in order to avoid the armed conflicts, and boost peace and security, mainly in the Middle East region.

He elaborated that this comes within the framework of the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in this regard. He referred to the Kuwaiti role to resolve the Yemeni crisis, saying that Kuwait has hosted the intra-Yemeni peace talks for more than three months, and is ready to host the talks until a final agreement is signed.

On humanitarian field, the minister stated that Kuwait has hosted several conferences to back humanitarian situation of Syrians. “Kuwait took part in two international conferences in London and Brussels. It spared no efforts to meet needs of disastrous humanitarian situation of Yemenis. Also it hosted the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI),” he said. He noted that terrorist elements are mainly depending on technological development in recruiting new individuals and carrying out their attacks and plots.

During their speeches, German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen and her French counterpart Florence Parly have stressed the necessity of setting up a unified European military force and enhancing military cooperation among EU member states. The French minister urged the European countries’ governments to increase their investments in the defense field. She said the shift in the US military policy prompts Europeans to depend necessarily on themselves in the face of new security challenges.

In his speech, North Atlantic Bid to boost trade, economic ties with Belgium Brussels host Kuwait Economic Forum Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary- General Jens Stoltenberg also welcomed the German-French plans, but also warned that boosting military cooperation among European countries will affect negatively NATO’s performance. He said there is a risk that the European Union and the United States might be alienated, if the European plans are implemented. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged countries to strengthen efforts so as to counter-terrorism internationally and provide more assistance to enable international organizations to assist refugees and shelter them. Guterres said that military solutions are the only way to deal with crises and terrorism, appealing to the governments to provide development assistance that helps, as he thinks, fight the roots the crisis.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May focused on the consequences of the country’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit), mainly on the security and military levels. She said that Britain would maintain close relations with the EU after Brexit. Addressing the session, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on the European countries to assume more responsibilities on international level. He said new international challenges and conditions require that we should be able to shoulder responsibilities. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel touched upon situation in northern Syria without mentioning the United States and Turkey. He said there is a real danger of a war in northern Syria even among NATO partners.

During the conference, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and his Iraqi counterpart Haidar Al-Abadi discussed, in a meeting, bilateral ties, the Syrian crisis, as well as security and energy dossiers. Al-Abadi delivered a speech in the conference in which he lauded victories made by the Iraqi army over the so-called Islamic State. He said Iraq has finally managed to defeat IS fighters and recapture its land.

The Turkish premier spoke about the improvement of relations between Ankara and Berlin, saying that Turkish President would visit Germany as soon as the new cabinet is formed to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al- Jubeir on Sunday accused the Iranian government of continuing exporting the Iranian revolution to the region’s countries. Al-Jubeir, addressing the session, said Iran has continued to “export revolutionary ideas” to the Gulf region and support the Lebanese organization Hezbollah, “which is the largest terrorist organization in the region.”

For his part, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saw Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the conference as “comic.” The three-day event included more than 30 heads of state and government, in addition to 100 defense and interior ministers across the globe. It discussed means of addressing security challenges in the world, mainly combating terrorism and conflicts in the Middle East, and the Ukrainian crisis.

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