Munich Security Conference opens amid concerns about 'boundless crises'

Updated: 2016-02-13 00:16


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Munich Security Conference opens amid concerns about 'boundless crises'

The chairman of the Conference on Security Policy Wolfgang Ischinger addresses the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 12, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

MUNICH -- Top security and defense officials gathered in Munich for an annual security forum on Friday, focusing on Syrian conflicts, refugees, terrorism and other "boundless crises."

"The global strategic environment is bleak. The international order in my view is in its worst shape since the end of the cold war," said Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, at the opening of the forum on Friday afternoon.

"Overwhelmed and helpless guardians are faced with increasingly boundless crises and empowered reckless spoilers," he added, referring to Syrian conflicts which had turned into a regional conflict and become the main driver of the biggest refugee crisis since World War Two.

Ischinger urged countries to show more solidarity and seek joint responses to the crises instead of solutions from merely national prospective.

The Syrian war, refugee crisis, Islamic State, Ukraine conflicts are among the key issues to be discussed at the forum from Friday to Sunday.

Some 600 decision makers including over 30 heads of states and governments and more than 70 ministers will attend the conference.

Participants include Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, US State Secretary John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.

Fu Ying, Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress of China, was scheduled to attend a panel discussion on China on Saturday afternoon.

The conference, now at its 52th edition, started hours after top diplomats agreed to implement a nationwide "cessation of hostilities" in Syria within one week and to accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid immediately in the war-torn country.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the decisions represented a "positive and meaningful progress" which "China is pleased to see."

He urged all sides involved to make efforts to get the agreements implemented, adding that China would continue to participate in the peace process in Syria, and, when necessary, continue to play an active and constructive role and offer proposals to help resolve the Syria issue.