COAS Gen Bajwa expected to attend Munich Security Conference

BERLIN – Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa is expected to represent Pakistan at the 53rd Munich Security Conference in Germany.

The Army Chief’s name is mentioned in the confirmed participants list, who will attend the MSC starting from February 17 to 19, 2017.

It will be first time that recently appointed COAS will attend the conference in Bavarian City Munich, Germany.

The 53rd edition of the MSC will bring together hundreds of international decision-makers at the platform for discussing international security affairs at Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich.

However, COAS’s schedule and agenda at the MSC is yet to be confirmed. Since last two years, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif had been attending the international security conference in Munich, Germany.

The conference agenda focuses on the future of transatlantic relations and NATO after the election of Donald Trump, the state of EU cooperation in security and defence matters, the Ukraine crisis and relations with Russia, the war in Syria, and the security situation in the Asia-Pacific, including in the Korean peninsula.

Participants will also discuss terrorism, information warfare, as well as major threats to global health and climate security.

“We are confronted with an international security environment that is arguably more volatile than at any point since World War II”, MSC Chairman Ambassador Ischinger said. “The liberal order many of us have taken for granted is increasingly threatened from within and without. That’s why it is so important to find ways to defend and strengthen the fundamental values of the West, and the institutions of a rules-based international system.”

While the composition of the US delegation has not yet been finalised, all signs point to a particularly strong participation of both the new administration as well as the Congress.

“Since 1963, transatlantic relations have been at the core of the Munich Security Conference. Just a few weeks after the inauguration of the new US President, the MSC is an important opportunity to discuss how Europe and the US can continue to work together in an increasingly challenging international environment,” Ambassador Ischinger stressed. “I hope that we will not mince words and speak honestly about our disagreements as well as about our common interests and values.”

Along with COAS Bajwa, this year’s confirmed participants are from Afghan president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the new UN Secretary General AntoÅLnio Guterres, European Council President Donald Tusk, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The Presidents of Poland and Ukraine, Andrzej Duda, and Petro Poroshenko are also in the list.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi have also confirmed their participation, as have Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran, Adel Al-Jubeir and Mohammad Javad Zarif, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Foreign Ministers of France and Great Britain, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Boris Johnson and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer and Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth will also be in Munich, as will Bill Gates, Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and singer and philanthropist Bono.

Confirmed representatives of the German government include Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizie`re and Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller.