Russia snubs US ‘counterproductive’ anti-Iran summit in Poland
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Russia snubs US ‘counterproductive’ anti-Iran summit in Poland

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the event, slated for February 13-14 in Warsaw, as Washington’s latest attempt to “promote its unilateral geopolitical interests.” “Following a thorough analysis of the provisional agenda and program of this conference provided by the organizers, Russia has decided not to attend it for the following reasons,” it said. The ministry complained that the Warsaw conference will not cover basic problems in the Middle East, particularly the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core element, the Palestinian issue.  The meeting, it added, has been arranged “hastily and behind closed doors,” without due regard for the opinions of influential states in the region and beyond in a bid to weaken the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. “It is an obvious attempt to bring together as many countries as possible on an anti-Iran platform, to create conditions for the ultimate erosion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known as the Iran nuclear deal, and to shift the international focus from Syria and Yemen to anti-Iran efforts,” it noted. Last year, President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the JCPOA and re-imposed “toughest ever” sanctions against Iran. The remaining parties – France, the UK, Germany, Russia and China -- have stressed their commitment to the accord and pledged to defend the deal in the face of US pressure and compensate for Washington’s absence. “In light of the above, we once again point out that the current US policy of fostering anti-Iran sentiments and creating new dividing lines in the Middle East is unacceptable,” the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out.  Moscow further underlined the need to find compromise solutions to problems with the help of the UN and based on international law instead of promoting unilateral approaches. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the summit during his tour of the Middle East earlier this month.  He claimed the meeting would focus on stability and security in the Middle East, including the “important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.” EU foreign policy chief Mogherini has announced that she will not be attend the conference. A mere attempt to sideline Palestine issue Separately on Tuesday, Russia’s ambassador to the UN condemned the upcoming anti-Iran forum, emphasizing the Warsaw meeting would fail to bolster security in the Middle East due to its “one-country aspect” and disregard for the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Addressing the UN Security Council debate on the Middle East, Vasily Nebenzya said, “Attempts to create some kind of military alliances in the region by holding conferences and focusing on having a simplified unilateral approach that is clearly linked just to Iran are counterproductive.” “Why has that conference not invited Iran, which is one of the most significant and large countries in the region?” he asked. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has already criticized the event as a “desperate anti-Iran circus.” His deputy Abbas Araqchi has also said that the Islamic Republic does not allow any country to build a coalition against its interests during a meeting with his Polish counterpart, who was in Tehran earlier this week to explain hosting the event. Iran’s Foreign Ministry also summoned Polish chargé d'affaires in Tehran, Wojciech Unolt, to demand answers as to why Warsaw had agreed to host the summit.

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