Israeli-Hamas conflict set to top agenda of international security forum in Canada
The escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas was expected to top the agenda of an international security forum in Halifax, the capital of Canada' s most populous Atlantic province of Nova Scotia.
Opening the three-day, fourth annual meeting of defence and security experts on Friday, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay said "We continue to bear witness to atrocities across the Middle East, and the possibility of even greater atrocities if Iran successfully builds a nuclear bomb."
He said the forum came against the backdrop of terrorist strikes in Israel and terrorist networks in Africa' s Sahel region, the increased tension in the Middle East, among others.
The crisis in Syria and the global economic crisis, among others, would also be discussed at the meeting, said MacKay, who described the event as "the perfect atmosphere for the exchange of ideas that will inform the thinking and decisions of key leaders around the world."
The topics such as current trends in international security, the impact of technological change on modern warfare, the special "burden" or responsibilities of democratic nations and the rise of China would be on the table in a Saturday panel session.
Other "on-the-record" plenary sessions scheduled include one looking at American global leadership following the November election and another examining whether Afghanistan is Pakistan' s "problem, or vice versa?"
Alison Redford, premier of Canada' s oil-rich province of Alberta, will participate in a panel on North America moving "off foreign oil and its impacts everywhere else."
There will also be several "off-the-record" small group sessions covering such subjects as "confronting Iran," diplomacy in the age of YouTube, food security ( "The Real Hunger Games" ) and strategic warfare in cyberspace.
The forum is attracting about 330 participants from over 40 countries across the world.