United States Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen, Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki with his wife Iwona and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his wife Sara, from right, leave the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes during a wreath laying ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. The Polish capital is host for a two-day international conference on the Middle East, co-organized by Poland and the United States. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

The Latest: Pence, Netanyahu honor Warsaw Uprising heroes

February 14, 2019 - 9:09 am

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Latest on the Middle East meeting taking place in Warsaw (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have laid wreaths at the monument to the heroes of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising to pay tribute to the Jewish fighters who opposed German Nazi troops.

They were accompanied Thursday by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, as Poland and the United States were co-hosting an international conference in Warsaw on security in the Middle East.

In April 1943, hundreds of young Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto took up arms against the Nazi German army and fought for their dignity but also to liberate Poland from the occupying Germans.

The revolt ended in death for most of the fighters, yet left behind an enduring symbol of resistance.


2:45 p.m.

Poland's prime minister says the Middle East security conference that Poland is co-hosting with the United States will be a success if participants openly discuss their views on how to bring peace to the region and if it produces a working group that will be further addressing the issues.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Thursday addressed participants at the conference in Warsaw that the sponsors say is aimed at promoting peace and security in the Mideast but appears to be mainly focused on isolating Iran.

Morawiecki said he will consider the meeting a success if it brings together governments "that do not agree on all things" and if it becomes a "place of open debate and exchange of arguments for peace for the region."

He said he hoped it will start a working group that will be "addressing all issues mentioned here today."

The issues included fighting extremism, including cyberattacks, forging an approach toward Iran and stopping conflicts in the region that are driving millions of people from their homes.


1:15 p.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is calling for America's European allies to join it in withdrawing from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal and stop efforts he said are designed to evade U.S. sanctions.

Speaking at a Middle East conference in Poland, Pence accused Iran of being the world's greatest state sponsor of terrorism. He lamented that Britain, France and Germany created a special financial mechanism that Washington believes is aimed at "breaking" tough U.S. sanctions on Iran. Those sanctions were eased by the Obama administration under the terms of the nuclear deal but were re-imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement last year.

U.S. and European divisions over Iran led France and Germany to opt against sending their top diplomats to the Warsaw conference.


8:55 a.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the world "can't achieve peace and security in the Middle East without confronting Iran."

Pompeo spoke Thursday before the opening session of a Middle East security conference in Warsaw. Appearing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Pompeo says "pushing back" against Iran is central to dealing with all the region's other problems. Several high-profile Arab dignitaries are also attending.

The U.S. and Poland are sponsoring the conference, which they say is aimed at promoting peace and security in the Mideast but appears to be mainly focused on isolating Iran.

Iran has denounced the gathering as an American anti-Iran "circus." Russia has said it will not attend, and the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, is also skipping the event.

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