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February 15, 2020

German president warns of ‘increasingly destructive dynamic in world politics’

Top Story

February 15, 2020

MUNICH: In opening remarks at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier criticised the US for neglecting its international duties and warned of an “increasingly destructive dynamic in world politics,” world media reported

World leaders gathered in southern Germany on Friday for the 56th iteration of the annual conference on international security policy.

"Year by year, we are distancing ourselves from the goal of international cooperation to create a more peaceful world," Steinmeier said in his opening address. He criticised world powers Russia and China before adding that "our closest ally, the United States, under the current administration itself rejects the idea of an international community." World leaders and foreign ministers including French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are among those expected to attend the three-day event.

Also scheduled were Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

'Unforgivable failure'

Ahead of the meeting, conference chairman Wolfgang Ischinger said he was "deeply troubled" by the "unforgivable failure" of the international community in the Syria conflict, and said he regretted the failure of the Libya peace plan recently secured in Berlin.

"We have more crises, more serious crises, more horrific events than one can actually imagine," he said.

Nato tensions

Nato allies will likely find themselves in conflict during the meeting, with Macron pushing for Europe to become more independent from the US.

US General Tod Wolters told reporters at the conference that Nato will resume its training mission in Iraq in the coming days or weeks, after activities were suspended following a US drone strike on Baghdad. Wolters the said the 500-strong mission had received assurances from the Iraqi government.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer earlier reaffirmed the need to continue the fight against Islamic State, DPA news agency reported.