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Russian, Iranian leaders, AfD not invited to Munich Security talks

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As Germany prepares to host the Munich Security Conference later this month, several international leaders and German political parties are to be excluded from this year’s gathering, according to the chairman of the defence forum.

The governments of Russia and Iran have not been invited to join some 50 leaders and around 100 ministers due to attend the meeting which is taking place from February 16 to 18.

The annual conference is an independent forum for security policy decision makers to debate current and future challenges. Attendees usually include heads of states, governments and international organizations, ministers, lawmakers and senior defence figures.

“A few days ago, the Russian president said that he would be happy to negotiate, but not with this Ukrainian government. In other words, there is no serious willingness to talk,” said Conference chair Christoph Heusgen, referring to Vladimir Putin.

“And that is why we have said that we are not inviting the Russian government, but we are inviting Russians from non-governmental organizations, exiled politicians.”

Heusgen took the same approach last year at the first conference following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“In the case of Iran, we are hearing from the German government and also from the Americans that there is no interest in talks. As things stand at the moment, we are only inviting Iranians from non-governmental organizations.”

Heusgen also said some German political parties would not be at the meeting, naming the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which was also excluded last year.

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