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February 16, 2018 4:33 pm

Netanyahu Heads to Munich to Attend Prestigious International Security Conference

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: REUTERS/Abir Sultan/Pool/File Photo. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took off for Germany on Thursday, to attend the 2018 Munich Security Conference. Netanyahu will be the first Israeli prime minister to take part in the conference in the 55 years since its inception.

While Israel has traditionally placed little importance on these types of international events, officials in Jerusalem have come to realize that they provide an important stage for Israel to voice its positions. Hundreds of world leaders attend the Munich Security Conference each year, and Israeli ministers and other senior officials have as a result delivered speeches there in recent years.

A number of prominent US officials are also set to take part in the conference, including US Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. UN Secretary General António Guterres, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz are also set to participate.

Netanyahu will participate in a discussion on the Middle East to be held Sunday morning. After a short recess, he will be followed by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The indirect exchange between the two figures will undoubtedly serve as one of the highlights of the conference, given the military confrontation between Israel and Iran on the Syria-Israel border over the weekend.

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