Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   21 March

Armenian president attends opening of Munich Security Conference

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 15, ARMENPRESS. President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian has attended the official opening ceremony of the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Sarkissian's Office said.

Unprecedented number of international decision-makers are taking part at the 2019 Munich Security Conference. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be present again, after last attending in 2017. Among the numerous other heads of state and heads of government that have announced their attendance are Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi. The same is true for Yang Jiechi, Member of the 19th Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party, as well as the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroschenko, the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wajed, and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The MSC 2019 is also anticipating the largest US delegation of all time. From the United States, Vice President Mike Pence and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan have confirmed their participation. The US Congressional Delegation will be led by Senators Lindsey O. Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, Roger F. Wicker, James Inhofe, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

Other confirmed participants include Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, Christine Lagarde, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Kristalina Georgieva, Acting President of the World Bank.

Numerous foreign and defence ministers have confirmed their participation. From Germany, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen will be present alongside over 40 other foreign and defence ministers from the EU and NATO. Russia's, Iran's, Iraq's, and Qatar's foreign ministers Sergey Lavrov, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim, and Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani will attend. Their counterparts from Pakistan and the Philippines will also be present. Among the defence ministers expected in Munich are British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson, French Defence Minister Florence Parly, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, as well as Hulusi Akar, Defense Minister of Turkey, and Tiémoko Sangaré, his Malian counterpart.

The German federal government will also be represented at the Conference by Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmeier, Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, Health Minister Jens Spahn and Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner. In addition, more than 45 members of the Bundestag from all parliamentary groups will be in attendance.

A multitude of international organisations will also be represented at MSC 2019. Thomas Greminger, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol, and Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, have announced their participation. Also participating are Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, Henrietta H. Fore, CEO of the United Nations Children's Fund, and David Beasley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme. The International Criminal Court will be represented by its President Chile Eboe-Osuji, and its Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bom Bensouda.

All told, more than 35 heads of government and heads of state, as well as 50 foreign and 30 defence Ministers are expected to be present.

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