Russia will not take part in Middle East conference: FM

Jacek Czaputowicz, the Polish Foreign Minister said in an interview with “Rzeczpospolita” daily that there will be no Russian representation at the conference about Middle East, which will take place in Warsaw on February 13-14.

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The minister said that Russia took this decision before looking into the programme of the conference. “It shows that this conference is not in Russia’s scope of foreign policy. It is a shame because Russia plays an important role in the Middle East,” he stressed.

Representatives of Iran will also not be present at the conference. “We did not invite Iranian representatives, because it would make normal debating impossible,” Mr Czaputowicz told “Rzeczpospolita.” He added that in his opinion, Iranian representatives use language which is hard to accept.

The FM said that Iran’s activities are currently destabilizing the whole region of the Middle East. “This is the opinion of both the US and the European Union. The difference is about how one should stand against it,” Mr Czaputowicz said.

He also added that Poland is not against the EU on this matter, but stressed that the Union “cannot stand against the US in reference to the Middle East and pretend that the agreement with Iran remains unchanged, when the largest country [the US] withdrew from it and western companies resigned from cooperation with Iran.”

The minister also stressed that the participation of other Middle Eastern countries in the conference is very important.

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The conference on security and peace-building in the Middle East will be held on February 13-14. The decision to hold the conference was officially announced earlier this month by the US Department of State and the Polish Foreign Ministry.

The invitations to the conference had been sent out to more than 70 countries, including all the EU members, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. However, she will not attend the conference, because of her scheduled visit to Africa.

Iran is protesting against the conference, calling it "an act of hostility towards Iran.” A Polish diplomat was summoned by Iranian Foreign Ministry, due to the organisation of the event.