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Middle East

My visit to Iraq and Northeast Syria

In October and November, for about two weeks, I visited Baghdad, Erbil and Mosul in Iraq as well as Qamishli and Hassakeh in Northeast Syria. I met with activists, parliamentarians, ministers, military leaders and diplomats. Find out more here

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Meine Plenarrede zum Abraham-Abkommen

Diese Woche haben wir im Plenum das “Abraham-Abkommen” diskutiert. Die Unterzeichner preisen das Abkommen als Friedensbringer an.
Die Wirklichkeit wird noch zeigen, wie Ernst sie es meinen. Hier könnte ihr meine Plenarrede sehen

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My trip to Saudi-Arabia and Oman

On women claiming their spots, the fight for human rights, and how we can save the planet together Saudi-Arabia and Oman: These were the two destinations I visited last week as the chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula. Women in both countries are claiming

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Screenshot RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland

"Iranians don't put up with everything anymore" - RND-interview

"Iranians no longer put up with everything, and many are willing to take a high risk for it," I explained to the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) on Friday. After the killing of General Soleimani by the USA initially silenced domestic protests, the tragic shooting down of the plane brought government critics back onto the streets. After the chaotic back and forth, the RND asked me for an assessment of how the situation in Iran is now developing.

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Speech on the US-Iran conflict: For peace we must listen to the demonstrators

The nuclear agreement is still alive and the EU must do everything possible to get Iran and the USA back on board. In this difficult situation, however, those who are fighting for democracy in Iran and Iraq must not be forgotten. The EU must strongly condemn the violence and repression against the demonstrators. I called for this yesterday in Parliament. Because there will be no peace in the region if the people on the streets continue to be silenced.

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Hannah Neumann zu Gast bei der Deutschen Welle

"Libyans should decide their own future" - DW interview

It is important that all parties to the conflict come together and discuss a peaceful solution for Libya. Germany's initiative for a conference in Berlin is the right approach. Most importantly, however, eventually it should be the Libyans themselves who decide on their future. That was my core message in the interview with Deutsche Well on the occasion of the meeting of Merkel and Putin in Moscow.

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A “Geopolitical Commission” needs self-initiative – SZ Interview

„Wenn die EU im Nahen Osten eine Rolle spielen möchte, dann darf sie nicht als Anhängsel der USA wahrgenommen werden. Sie muss sich mit beiden Füßen auf den Boden des Völkerrechts stellen und alle, die gegen dieses Völkerrecht verstoßen, gleichermaßen verurteilen“, sagte ich der Süddeutschen Zeitung am Freitag. Zuvor hatten

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"EU must mediate in US-Iran conflict" - Interview in Handelsblatt

"If the EU wants to play a mediating role based on international law and defend the rules that make peaceful coexistence possible, it will only work if it criticises all actors who violate them," I told the Handelsblatt on Wednesday. "But it is holding back on the USA. Yet the killing of Soleimani in Iraq was most likely contrary to international law."

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Report: Visit to Egypt, Qatar and Iraq

Just as I planned my visit, another round of protests sparked in the Middle East: Anti-government protests resurfaced in Algeria. Critical voices by Egypt’s youth against the government were suffocated in September in a fierce clampdown with thousands detained. In October, young people in Iraq and Lebanon took to the streets calling for political reforms and an end of corruption.

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Back from Iraq: Baghdad protesters resist the violence

A day before I arrived in Iraq, the Lebanese Prime Minster had resigned following weeks of protests. While people in Lebanon were celebrating in the streets, Iraqi security forces continued to kill people in the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere. Over the past month more than 250 of the largely peaceful protesters have died. Here is one of the few English articles about the protest.

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Conflict in Iraq: protecting activists!

Earlier this month, over 100 people were killed and more than 4,000 injured in Iraq. They took to the streets against corruption and were fired upon by state security forces. These security forces are being advised by an EU mission! The mission has been on the ground for two years and is supposed to help reform the Iraqi security sector. How could this disaster occur despite this and how do we as the EU react to it? I asked this last week in Parliament:

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