World leaders converge in Munich for annual security conference

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UN Secretary General António Guterres is to formally open the 60th Munich Security Conference on Friday, as some 50 world leaders are expected to attend this year’s event.

The main topics on the security conference’s agenda are the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to address the three-day conference on the opening day.

On Saturday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are also expected to speak.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Israel Katz are to attend, along with high-ranking representatives from the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, and Jordan.

A key issue expected to be discussed on the sidelines is the outcome of the Nov. 5 elections in the United States and what will happen if former U.S. President Donald Trump is re-elected.

Trump’s shadow is expected to loom large at the security conference after comments he made last week that cast doubt on U.S. security commitments.

Trump told supporters at a campaign rally that he would “encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to NATO countries that are not spending enough on defence.

The congressional delegation from the U.S, with more than 30 representatives, includes members of Trump’s Republican Party.

Russian and Iranian officials have not been invited to this year’s Munich Security Conference. 

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