Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the annual Munich Security Conference (MSC), has warned against the risk of a military confrontation between the USA and Russian Federation on Friday.
Over 500 participants from around the world attended the three-day major annual gathering for worldwide security issues, amid uncertain transatlantic relations and challenges to the liberal global order, mainly protectionism and nationalism. In addition, participants will discuss an increasing threat to the liberal worldwide order, numerous conflicts in the Middle East - a particular deterioration of relations between the Gulf States - and political developments in the Sahel region, as well as arms control and North Korea's nuclear program.
Moreover, arms control issues will be a point of emphasis, in particular the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear program.
"In the previous year, the world has gotten closer - much too close! - to the brink of a significant conflict", Ischinger wrote in the introduction to a report released ahead of the conference. "We must make concrete steps".
Before the opening of the Munich Conference today, chairman Wolfgang Ischinger warned of escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, strained NATO-Russia ties, the possible "unraveling" of landmark nonproliferation treaties, and "rising nationalism and illiberalism" that he sees "weakening some of the core principles of the worldwide order".
"It is about a Europe that can also throw more weight militarily in the military".
Other global challenges set to be discussed at the Munich conference include defense cooperation in the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the impact of technology on democracy, and nuclear security.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Federica Mogherini, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will attend the Conference.
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