10:15 17.02.2017

Munich Security Conference will open on Friday to discuss EU, NATO future, situation in Ukraine and Syria

On Friday, February 17, the Munich Security Conference begins its work, which will discuss a number of key challenges in the field of security, including the situation in Ukraine.

According to a press release of the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC), which will be held under the chairmanship of Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, more than 500 participants are expected to attend it.

"The conference agenda focuses on the future of transatlantic relations and NATO after the election of Donald Trump, the state of EU cooperation in security and defense matters, the Ukraine crisis and relations with Russia, the war in Syria, and the security situation in the Asia-Pacific, including in the Korean peninsula," a press-release says.

Participants will also discuss terrorism, information warfare, as well as major threats to global health and climate security.

Among this year's confirmed participants are the new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In addition, the event will be attended by the presidents of Ukraine, Poland and Afghanistan, the prime ministers of Norway, Hungary and Iraq, the foreign ministers of China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Russia, France and the UK.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as the ministers of Economy, Defense and Internal Affairs of Germany will participate in the conference.

The U.S. delegation in Munich will be headed by U.S. Vice President Michael Pence.

According to information posted on the conference website, U.S. delegation will be presented at a fairly serious level. "Several members of the U.S. cabinet, including Vice President Michael Pence and the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, General James Mattis and General John Kelly, have already confirmed their participation," the conference press-release says.

According to Interfax-Ukraine, the Ukrainian president will speak at the panel discussion titled "The Future of the West: Fall or Return?" on Friday night. In addition, on the conference sidelines on February 18 the Ukrainian president will hold talks with U.S. Vice President Michael Pence, President of Poland Andrzej Duda and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Pence, Merkel, NATO Secretary General, the UN Secretary General and other senior officials will speak on February 18 according to the program of the event.

On the sidelines of the Munich conference the talks of foreign ministers of Normandy format will also be held where the situation in the east of Ukraine will be discussed. According to the agency's information, the four ministerial meeting is scheduled for Saturday, February 18.

In the framework of the conference, on February 18, Pinchuk Foundation will hold its first Ukrainian lunch "Ukraine's Security in a Changing World Order." According to the Foundation, the event will bring together world-known figures, decision makers and leaders in the field of security. The Ukrainian lunch will be attended by U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, President of Poland in 1995-2005 Aleksander Kwasniewski, Chairman of the MSC Wolfgang Ischinger, Ex-President of the European Parliament Pat Cox, former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

The MSC is an annual conference which is held in Munich (Germany) since 1962. It had been called the Conference on Military Affairs until 1993 and was held under the auspices of the Christian Social Union. It is financed by the government of Germany since 1998.

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