Co-chairs’ Statement on the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East

Department of State

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 14, 2019

On February 13-14, 2019, Foreign Ministers and representatives of 62 states met in Warsaw, Poland, at a conference organized jointly by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland and Secretary of State of the United States, to work toward a more secure and stable Middle East.

The participants discussed how terrorism, proliferation, and the escalation of conflicts in the Middle East pose a threat to regional and international peace and security.

The participants discussed the risks stemming from the proliferation of weapons and the development of ballistic missile programs in the region. They also discussed ways of addressing humanitarian crises in the region, countering violent extremism, combatting threats to cyber and energy infrastructure, and disrupting illicit financial networks.

The broad and productive participation in the ministerial demonstrates that the international community is committed to addressing drivers of instability in the region. Many of the participating countries expressed an intention to continue to act collaboratively to promote a more prosperous future for the region and its people.

To this end, Poland and the United States are pleased to announce the establishment of international working groups that will drive momentum toward concrete solutions in the areas listed below. The groups plan to convene at the working level in countries around the world to advance the international community’s shared interests in promoting peace and security in the region. Additional information on the working groups will be released in the coming weeks.

Counterterrorism and Illicit Finance:

  1. Counterterrorism and Illicit Finance

Curbing Missile Development and Weapons Proliferation:

  1. Missile Proliferation
  2. Maritime and Aviation Security

Combatting Cyber and Emerging threats:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Energy Security

Humanitarian issues and human rights:

  1. Humanitarian Issues and Refugees
  2. Wrongful Detainees and Human Rights

The co-chairs also welcome the announcement that the Polish Institute of International Affairs intends to work with a U.S. think tank to convene a global forum of experts, the Middle East Strategic Study Group. This forum can enable leading academics and issue experts from across the world to provide strategic insight to support the continued efforts of the working groups.

The United States and Poland share many common interests in the region. These include, among others, to promote respect for human rights, counter violent extremism, advance international non-proliferation norms, and address humanitarian challenges. Our two countries hope that this ministerial and the follow-on working groups will be the beginning of a Warsaw process, a collaborative and dynamic effort that makes progress on these and other issues of importance in the region.

Further, Poland and the United States recommend that participants present at the ministerial meet again in the future to discuss the progress of the working groups.