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Poland hosts US Mideast meet and hopes to get protection from Russia

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Poland will host the US-sponsored Mideast peace conference in the hope to strengthen its ties with the US as it seeks greater protection from Russia. The meeting would be held in Warsaw on February 13-14, and is being held to initiate a peace dialogue in the Middle East region, amid US withdrawal of forces from Syria and Afghanistan. Poland has invited more than 70 countries to the summit, including all EU members and some from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in an interview to air on Friday that the meeting would “focus on Middle East stability and peace and freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.”

The US State Department commented that the meeting would address a range of critical issues including terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region. Two major agendas of the meet are anticipated to be creating a pressure on Iran from discontinuing its nuclear activities and to bring resolution to the decades long Palestinians-Israel conflict.

The Palestinian Authority said that it won’t attend the Warsaw summit, which it considers to be an “American conspiracy”. The ties between the two sides have been frayed since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017.

Besides Iran and the Palestinians, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of key European powers, including Russia, have opted to not attend the summit.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said though his country stands by the EU’s efforts to maintain the nuclear deal with Iran, which the US dropped in 2015, the agreement “does not stop Iran from activities destabilizing the region”. He hoped the conference would strengthen ties between EU and US.

Iran has openly threatened the European nation of harsh consequences for hosting an anti-Iran conference. Iranian foreign affairs minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter, “Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last U.S. anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever.”

He went on to write that “while Iran saved Poles in WWII, it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus.”

Some political analyst fear that the Poland’s strengthening of ties with Washington might cost it greater isolation in Europe as the key European powers strongly oppose U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies.

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