Top officials head to Munich for annual security forum

A police officer with dog monitors the area prior the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, Germany, 14 February 2020. More than 500 high-level international decision-makers meet at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich during their annual meeting from 14 to 16 February 2020 to discuss global security issues. EPA-EFE/PHILIPP GUELLAND

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Some of President Donald Trump’s top foreign policy priorities stand at pivotal moments as two high-level national security officials head to an annual security forum in Germany. Strains in the trans-Atlantic relationship have cast doubt on whether they can count on much help from European leaders in advancing Trump’s agenda.

 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s visit to Munich comes as the U.S. appears close to signing a truce in Afghanistan, is pushing for renewing sanctions on Iran, has introduced a new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and is trying to discourage allies from allowing the Chinese company Huawei to be part of next-generation wireless networks.

The Munich conference, which opens Friday, attracts a wide array of foreign diplomats and national security officials and has been the venue for unexpected and sometimes surprising revelations. It has been marked by turbulent U.S.-European relations before, notably during the debate over the Iraq war in early 2003. But the current level of tension exceeds that of previous years and spans a wider range of issues.

While Afghanistan has the potential to be the most significant development in Munich, other issues are more likely to highlight tensions with Europe — notably the future of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Read more via AP

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