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Munich Security Conference

Macron to clarify EU foreign policy amid world's 'unforgivable' security failures

Police officers secure a street outside the venue of the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany February 14, 2020.
Police officers secure a street outside the venue of the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany February 14, 2020. REUTERS/ Andreas Gebert
2 min

French President Emmanuel Macron was among world leaders and diplomats gathered in southern Germany Friday for a two-day security event that comes amid an “unforgivable failure” to resolve international conflicts.

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The chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, said he was “deeply troubled” by the world’s failure to resolve the war in Syria or to secure a peace plan for Libya.

“We have more crises, more serious crises, more horrific events than one can actually imagine,” he said ahead of the conference, which comes amid rising global tensions, conflicts and disagreements over security policies.

It’s Macron’s first appearance at the annual event, after he cancelled his trip last year to focus on domestic issues.

This week he’ll be looking to remove any potential misunderstandings on questions of security, defence and European foreign policy – on a range of issues such as Nato, the EU’s relationship with Russia, the Sahel, and the debate on 5G.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are other government figures expected to attend, along with Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Nato allies will likely find themselves at loggerheads during the 56th annual summit, with Macron pushing for Europe to become more independent from the US.

Tensions are expected between the US and Europe on defence spending and the future of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the UK, France and Germany are hoping can still be salvaged.

Meanwhile Washington is seeking to pressure Europe to ban the Chinese company Huawei from launching its 5G mobile networks after the UK last month allowed Huawei to join limited areas of its networks.

The US is also facing European pushback from its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, which is viewed as favouring Israel.

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