MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 500 experts and officials from around the world gathered for the 49th Munich Security Conference on Friday to discuss security issues related to Syria, Mali and Iran.
Officials including Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces President Sheikh Moaz Al-Khatib, and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi are scheduled to attend the event.
"The appalling violence in Syria and Iran's nuclear program are topics that will be of critical importance over the next months, and maybe years," said Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference.
U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, at his first visit to Europe since Barack Obama's second-term as U.S. president began, will give a speech in the conference on Saturday, and is expected to hold bilateral talks with Brahimi, Salehi, as well as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
On Friday, Biden urged Iran to return to negotiation table in an interview with German Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily, warning that time window for "successful diplomacy" would be kept open, "however, not unlimitedly."
The ongoing crisis in Europe, rising powers in Asia and Latin America, and cyber security will also be discussed.
DAMASCUS, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Foreign Ministry summoned on Thursday the leader of the UN Disengagement Observer Force ( UNDOF) and filed an official complaint about the Israeli attack that targeted a Syrian military research center in the capital Damascus a day earlier.
In a statement carried out by the state-media, the ministry informed Major General Iqbal Singh Singha that Israel had violated the charter of disengagement concluded in 1974, by penetrating the Syrian airspace and bombing the military research center in Jumraya suburb of Damascus. Full story
VIENNA, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it would install more new centrifuges at its main enrichment facility near the central town of Natanz, according to a document the agency released to the member states.
The document showed IAEA received a letter from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) on January 24, informing the agency that "centrifuge machines type IR2m will be used in Unit A-22 at the Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz." Full story
PARIS, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande will visit Mali on Saturday, the French Presidency said in a statement.
The French head of state will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius, Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister of Development Pascal Canfin, according to the Elysee Palace. Full story