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"Combat" instead of "war": Netanyahu tests the nerves of the Middle East conference

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<p class=Poland's President Duda and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Middle East Conference in Warsaw.

picture alliance / dpa

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks of the "concern of a war with Iran." Then he rows back. However, it is a memorable prelude to the US-initiated Middle East Conference in Warsaw.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to speak at the Polish-US-led Middle East conference in Warsaw on combating Iran. Netanyahu had even spoken of a "war" against Iran in a video broadcast from his office in Warsaw. His office then deleted the video and weakened the statement. In the amended English translation of the Prime Minister's Office, the word "war" has been replaced by "combat". In the deleted video, however, Netanyahu used the Hebrew word for "war."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Sarif responded mockingly on Twitter: "We've always known Netanyahu's fantasies, and now the world – and everyone at the Warsaw Circus – knows them too."

"What is important in this meeting …"

Netanyahu said in the video before the beginning of the conference, "From here, I am going to a meeting with 60 foreign ministers and ambassadors from countries around the world against Iran." He then added, "What's important at this meeting, and that's not a secret Because there are many of them – that is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries sitting down with Israel to advance our common cause of war with Iran. " In the amended version, the last part of the sentence read: "… to advance our common concern of fighting Iran."

The Israeli government press office had also initially distributed the original wording with the word "war". Later the press office sent a "new edition" of the communication with the term "fight". The US has stressed that the conference in Warsaw is not directed against Iran, but should focus on security and stability in the Middle East as a whole. Critics, on the other hand, speak of an anti-Iran meeting, which is why several Western European states are not present with their foreign ministers, including Germany.

Working sessions from Thursday

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas sent his Minister of State Niels Annen to Warsaw, who attended dinner for the opening of the conference. There should speak Polish President Andrzej Duda and US Vice President Mike Pence. On Thursday it continues with working sessions. In the afternoon, a final press conference is planned by the Polish and US Foreign Ministers Jacek Czaputowicz and Mike Pompeo.

The US had initiated the conference. The Polish government had agreed to go to Iran despite diplomatic problems with Iran.

The government in Tehran was not invited. Russia boycotted the meeting completely and Turkey sends media reports that at least no government representative. The presidents of these three countries, Hassan Ruhani, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will meet in Sochi on the Black Sea on Thursday in a kind of counter-summit. They want to discuss the future of Syria there. Specifically, it concerns the planned constitutional committee for reforms in the civil war country and the situation in Idlib, the last large stronghold of the opposition groups.

Iran question polarized

Europe and the US are divided on how to deal with Iran. While the Europeans are in favor of an agreement to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb while strengthening economic cooperation with Iran, the United States is calling for sanctions.

Among other things, the US accuses the leadership in Tehran of supporting terrorist groups and destabilizing the region. For example, Iran is on the side of President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war. In the Yemeni civil war, Iran supports the Shiite Houthi rebels.



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