Office of the Spokesperson
February 13, 2019
Tackling the Region’s Most Challenging Problems
- There is no shortage of challenges in the Middle East. From weapons proliferation and humanitarian crises, to terrorism and energy security, these issues and others pose serious threats to stability in the region and to security around the world.
- The ministerial will reinvigorate efforts to address these challenges by revitalizing our alliances and partnerships. It will provide countries an opportunity to share their assessments of the region and offer ideas on how to solve our shared problems.
- The agenda is wide-ranging, and will include a discussion of the Administration’s efforts to promote a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as a conversation on how to address ongoing regional humanitarian crises. The Secretary will provide an update on the situation in Syria and discuss other U.S. priorities in the region, including concerns regarding Iran’s destructive activities.
- Smaller breakout sessions will provide ministers the opportunity to focus on specific areas of concern such as missile development and proliferation, cyber security and emerging threats, and terrorism and illicit finance.
- Ministers from around the world have been asked to lead each of the ministerial discussion sessions, which will facilitate free-flowing and dynamic conversation.
- While the United States will advocate for its interests, we expect all other countries to do the same, and we welcome differences of opinion. We hope that frank discussion will lead to new and innovative ways of thinking – and solving — old, recurring issues.
Advancing Strong Allianes and Partnerships
- The ministerial will strengthen our existing alliances, such as the one between the United States and our ministerial co-host, Poland. This year we are celebrating 100 years of strong diplomatic relations with Poland. The ministerial is a clear sign of our strategic partnership, which extends beyond bilateral issues to include shared global interests. It will also build on our emerging partnerships with countries from around the world.
- In all, foreign ministers and representatives from more than 50 countries are expected to attend, making the ministerial an historic event. Attendees include regional partners like Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar, as well as partners from other parts of the world, such as the United Kingdom, South Korea, Brazil, Italy, and Kenya.
- With strong American leadership, this new platform for cooperation will increase coordination and enhance collaborative solutions to the region’s problems.
- The success of the D-ISIS campaign proves what countries with shared interests can accomplish when working together in the region. The D-ISIS Ministerial recently held in Washington celebrated the physical defeat of the ISIS Caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
A Framework for Driving Progress and Sustaining Momentum
- The United States sees the ministerial as the beginning of the conversation between countries. Secretary Pompeo will challenge countries to continue advancing the dialogue they initiate at the ministerial.
- To facilitate this goal, United States and Poland will announce the establishment of follow-on working groups that will be hosted by partner countries around the world, and hold working-level meetings in the months ahead.
- These groups will drive momentum on concrete initiatives that promote regional peace and stability.