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Munich Security Conference postponed due to COVID

December 9, 2020

The annual conference, which brings together the world's defense and security elite, will not take place in February 2021 as scheduled. The Germany-based conference hopes to reschedule in the spring.

People stand on a welcome carpet at the Munich Security Conference in 2019
The major security conference will not be taking place as usual next yearImage: Imago Images/S. Zeitz

The Munich Security Conference is being postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced on Wednesday.

"We have no choice but to postpone. But I promise: there will be a real [Munich Security Conference] in 2021," conference chairman Wolfgang Ischinger said on Twitter.

He added that organizers are working on presenting a "high-level virtual event" for February 19 when the conference was originally supposed to take place.

The international security policy conference takes place in February every year in the southern German city of Munich.

Hopes for a Biden appearance

Ischinger told news agency DPA that he hopes that the conference could potentially take place in April at the soonest.

"Due to the pandemic, we have to plan for several scenarios. That includes an option with fewer participants," he said.

Conference organizers also hope that US President-elect Joe Biden will attend after he is sworn in. Biden has made regular appearances at the conference since 1980 and most recently attended in 2019.

"There is considerable interest in the Biden team to continue the appearances of the former senator and vice president during his presidency. And I have received concrete indications of this," Ischinger said.

If Biden's attendance were confirmed, he would be the first sitting US president to attend in the conference's over 55-year history.

The multi-day event brings together the world's security and defense elite, and sometimes called the "Davos for defense."

rs/rc (dpa, Reuters)

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