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Nearly 30 world leader to attend Munich Security Conference

Nearly 30 world leader to attend Munich Security ConferenceGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend the Munich Security Conference next week, Reuters reported on Friday, citing government source.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has already accepted an invitation to the event, which takes place amid uncertainty about transatlantic relations after President Donald Trump said he viewed NATO as obsolete and criticized Merkel's policies.

Merkel last took part in the annual Munich Security Conference in 2015. In a telephone call with Trump on January 29, she told him that the global fight against terrorism was no excuse for banning refugees or people from Muslim-majority countries entering the United States.

A meeting in Munich with Pence would be her first with a senior Trump administration official.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis are also expected to be in Munich for the February 17-19 conference, which has become one of the world's most important foreign and security policy gatherings.

Participants will discuss the future of transatlantic relations, NATO and the EU, the Ukraine crisis, ties to Russia and the war in Syria, according to the conference's chairman Wolfgang Ischinger.

According to the organizers, this year is characterized by an unusually high number of high-ranking guests of the international level. More than 30 presidents and prime ministers from around the world will arrive in Germany.

Also nearly 500 top-level politicians are expected to take part in the Conference that will take place on February 17-19 in the Bayerischer Hof hotel, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as well as leaders of several countries.
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