Historic Peace and Security Conference

Benjamin Netanyahu hailed this week’s Conference on Peace and Security in the Middle East as a turning point in history. He considered it a breakthrough to stand in a room with 60 foreign ministers, including those of leading Arab countries, meeting to discuss the common threat posed by the current Iranian regime.

The Israelis were clearly deeply appreciative of the efforts by the United States in organising the conference, which was held on Wednesday and Thursday this week in Warsaw, Poland. US Sectretary of State, Mike Pompeo said:

You can’t achieve peace and stability in the Middle East without confronting Iran,
it’s just not possible.”

 

Delegates stand for the opening photograph
Delegates to the Peace and Security Conference (photo Janek SKARZYNSKI/AFP)

It seems to be the first time an Israeli leader has met with senior Arab officials with a focus on the Middle East since the peace conference held in Madrid in 1991. That conference led towards the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians.

On the side-lines of this week’s conference, Benjamin Netanyahu met Oman’s foreign minister and hinted that other Arab countries are following Oman’s lead, saying:

“Many are following in your footsteps, including among those here today at the conference.”

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister answered a question from reporters on Thursday saying that his country would “eventually” establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. Thus there are a number of Arab states that see Iran as a greater threat to peace than Israel.

Whilst in Warsaw, the Israeli Prime Minister and his wife took the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Ghetto Heroes Monument commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. They participated in the ceremony alongside US Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and his wife Iwona.

Wreath-laying ceremony at the Ghetto Heroes monumentWarsaw Ghetto Uprising Commemoration