US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan arrive in Manama International Airport in Manama on January 11, 2019. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The United States will hold a world summit in February that will focus on countering Iran in the Middle East.
“I am pleased to announce that the US and Poland will jointly host the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East in Warsaw,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Friday evening.
“It will be a forum for countries to address a range of critical issues toward a more peaceful Middle East,” he stated.
"The ministerial will address a range of critical issues including terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the region," the State Department detailed in a release.
Speaking to Fox News earlier, Pompeo said the meeting will bring together dozens of nations and a focus will be “making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the planned summit a “desperate anti-Iran circus.”
“Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last US anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever,” he tweeted along with a photograph from the 1996 Summit of Peacemakers.
The 1996 event, hosted by Egypt in Sharm el-Sheikh brought together the leaders of 27 nations in a show of support for the Middle East peace process. Attendees included US President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.
Iran was not invited.
Zarif also shamed Poland for hosting the conference, noting that Iran had hosted Polish refugees during War War Two.
Pompeo is currently on a Middle East tour, drumming up support for US sanctions against Iran.
The summit will take place on February 13 and 14. It will occur as US forces withdraw from Syria amid concerns that the exit of American forces will open the door for Iran to cement its influence in the country.
Updated at 10:12 pm