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U.S. hopes to rally coalition against Iran at Warsaw summit

By
Clyde Hughes
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence will represent the United States in the Warsaw summit Wednesday and Thursday.. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence will represent the United States in the Warsaw summit Wednesday and Thursday.. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The United States hopes to rally a coalition against Iran at a summit in Poland this week, but some key allies and countries are sending lower-level representatives if they show up at all to the event.

Although the summit is billed under the broader mission of peace and security in the Middle East, efforts to isolate Iran loom over the event. Vice President Mike Pence is attending along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump's adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

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They will be joined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and high-ranking officials from Saudi Arabia, who also share concerns about Iranian activity in the Middle East.

But major European allies, such as Germany and France, are sending lower-level officials. British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt signed up for the conference only after discussions on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen were added, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Pompeo and Polish foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz said in a CNN op-ed Wednesday listed Syria, Yemen and Israeli-Palestinian peace as items on the conference's agenda.

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"President Trump stressed in Warsaw two years ago that establishing security in our world 'is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will,'" Czaputowicz and Pompeo wrote. "As those words suggest, the best way to achieve peace and security in the Middle East is for every nation to exert itself. In bringing nations together for that purpose, we are rallying the world to a new solidarity."

But Russia, an Iranian ally, is boycotting the summit along with several Arab nations, Al Jazeera reported. Iran was not invited to attend.

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The U.S. will be trying to build a coalition against Iran after President Donald Trump pulled out last year from the Obama-era multinational agreement with Iran meant to keep the country from developing a nuclear weapon in exchange for sanctions relief.

That upset several U.S. allies who had signed on to the original deal. Since then, U.S. allies Britain, Germany and France had tried to salvage the deal to keep Iran in compliance.

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