Syria tops agenda of Munich Security Conference

Turkish premier to address global figures on Syria conflict, Turkey’s counterterrorism operation in northwestern Syria

By Ayhan Simsek

The conflict in Syria, refugee crisis and the EU's role in the future will be major topics at the 54th Munich Security Conference, which begins on Friday.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will be among key speakers of the three-day conference; he is expected to address senior global figures on Syria, Turkey’s counterterrorism operation and other developments in the region.

The Turkish premier is also scheduled to hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts on Friday and Saturday, on the sidelines of the conference.

Qatari Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, British Prime Minister Theresa May are among other leaders expected to attend the conference.

Foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are also expected participate at the conference, according to organisers.

The U.S. administration will be represented by Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis and the U.S. National Security Adviser, Herbert Raymond McMaster.

Numerous conflicts in the Middle East, growing tensions between Gulf states and political developments in the Sahel region are also expected to be on the agenda.

Around 600 senior figures would also discuss the future of the liberal international order, the EU’s role as a global actor, its relations with Russia and the U.S.

Since 1963, the Munich Security Conference has been a key annual gathering for world leaders, political and military decision makers to discuss global and regional security challenges.

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