Munich talks examined Iran, ′IS′ and Israel-Palestine | News | DW | 08.02.2015
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Munich talks examined Iran, 'IS' and Israel-Palestine

As the three-day Munich Security Conference wound down, all European eyes were on the civil war in Ukraine. However, several other issues were discussed at the MSC, which had begun on Friday.

Though Ukraine took precedence at the MSC, delegates on Sunday sought to remind their counterparts of the stepped-up multinational multifront fight against the "Islamic State" (IS) in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

"I don't see that there is a clear strategy how to deal with (IS): how to face it, how to contain it, control it, defeat it and eliminate it," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Sunday. "I don't see it."

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (pictured) said world leaders should also act on militants operating within his country.

ASAP

The quartet of envoys from the US, UN, EU and Russia seeking to negotiate a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians, announced Sunday that preparations had begun to resume talks "as soon as possible." The Middle East mediators had long found themselves sidelined in peacemaking efforts, but US-led talks aimed at a two-state solution collapsed as Israel increased its building of settlements and, last summer, launched a bloody 50-day war in Gaza.

The quartet asked both sides "to refrain from actions that undermine trust or prejudge final status issues."

IS and the conflict over Palestine, however, came up with all eyes on Ukraine. On Sunday, delegates awaited the outcome of a conference call involving Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

'Seize this opportunity'

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said now represented the best chance for a deal over his country's nuclear program, adding that progress had been made in recent months. He also urged that sanctions should be lifted, saying they were a "liability" and that if they had been intended to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, they had failed.

"This is the opportunity to do it and we need to seize this opportunity," Zarif said.

The US State Department described Sunday's talks between John Kerry and Zarif as "constructive."

mkg/mg (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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