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Israel president, Palestine PM to attend Munich Security Conference

February 12, 2024 at 3:58 pm

Christoph Heusgen, chairman of the Munich Security Conference holds a press conference at Federal Press Center in Berlin, Germany on February 12, 2024. [Halil Sağırkaya – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh are among hundreds of high-ranking officials due to attend the Munich Security Conference this week, its chair Christoph Heusgen said today, according to Reuters.

The conference takes place as Israel extends its genocidal bombing campaign into Gaza’s southernmost city, Rafah, where more than half of the enclave’s two million displaced civilians have taken shelter after being forced from their homes. The military campaign has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians and injured more than 68,000 since 7 October.

It is not known if Shtayyeh and Herzog will meet during the conference.

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Heusgen said the Israeli war on Gaza, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and conflicts in the Horn of Africa will dominate the conference, which takes place in the southern German city of Munich from Friday through to Sunday and which will be attended by the world’s defence and security elite.

The future of NATO and European defence will also be a big topic, Heusgen said.

Freed Israeli prisoners of war and relatives of hostages of Hamas would also participate in an event on the conference sidelines.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will open the conference. Other attendees include US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Vice President Kamala Harris, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen and the government chiefs of Lebanon, Qatar and Iraq.

The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) richest democracies will hold a meeting on the sidelines.

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