The current situation in the region is one of severe risk of conflict, with a number of unresolved ongoing issues, Munich Security Conference (MSC) chairman Wolfgang Ischinger said in Doha Tuesday.
He was addressing a press conference on the sidelines of the MSC Core Group Meeting 2019 at the National Museum of Qatar. The event brought together high-level representatives of governments, international institutions, and academics to discuss various global and regional security issues.
Iran's Foreign Minister Dr Mohamed Javad Zarif delivering his keynote speech at MSC Core Group Meeting in Doha
MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger addressing the media in Doha
The event, under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and organised in co-operation with Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, witnessed Iran's Foreign Minister Dr Mohamed Javad Zarif delivering a keynote speech at a welcome lunch, hosted by Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
Dr Zarif stated that Iran has the right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. He encouraged countries to co-operate in the area of technology, tourism, nuclear safety, and environmental protection.
The meeting, hosted in Doha for the second time since 2013, also held a closed door discussion on regional security dynamics titled “Up in Arms – Armament and Non-Proliferation in the Middle East”, attended by a number of dignitaries.
At the press conference, Ischinger thanked His Highness the Amir and the Qatar government for hosting the event.
“During the meetings, some of the participants spoke of larger wars in the region. I am not making my own prediction but I am simply quoting to you about the assessment of the seriousness of the situation in the region. I think a it is good idea for us to get involved in the region again after 2013,” he said.
MSC provides a platform for head of states and other political leaders, top officials of international civil society organisations from the region and their counterparts from Europe and across the world to tackle several security issues.
“There is an enormous absence of comprehensive transparent dialogue and trust building and this is where organisations like MSC Foundation can hopefully make a modest but useful contribution by offering a platform that allows everybody to participate,” Ischinger said. “And even if it is not possible to bring everybody into one room, we are creative enough to find ways to do it in different rooms”.
“In 2009, it was on the floor of the MSC that the initiative was taken to start what has now become the new START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) agreement on intercontinental ballistic missiles,” he said.
“Three years later, on the floor of MSC, the ratification papers between Russia and America were exchanged in 2012. Occasionally our platform is actually being used quite operationally and effectively to promote important international initiatives,” Ischinger added.