Near and Middle East

As Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the Arabian Peninsula and a close partner of women and human rights organisations in Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran, I often travel to the Near and Middle East. Talking to those in power there is often a balancing act. We need to exchange with them, for example, to organise humanitarian aid or to fight the climate crisis. But it is just as important to clearly name those who commit human rights violations, to support civil society on the ground and to show solidarity with those who stand up for democracy and human rights, even when faced with tough opposition. For me, one thing is clear: a values-driven foreign policy tries to do justice to these different goals as best as it can.

And in doing so, we must not omit another issue: Worldwide, most military equipment is exported to the Near and Middle East. If you need proof that more weapons do not lead to more peace and security, countries like Yemen, Syria or Afghanistan are the best examples. In this context, we must critically rethink our own export policy.

We urgently need a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza - and the EU must put pressure on all those who oppose this.
2024 is a year of many crises and conflicts around the world. And more than half of the world's population will be voting in 2024. It was against this backdrop that the MSC took place in February. I took part in two panels.
Israel hat das Recht auf Selbstverteidigung und die Befreiung der Geiseln – gleichzeitig haben die Zivilist*innen in Gaza das Recht auf Schutz und humanitäre Hilfe. Wie kann beides erreicht werden?
Following the Houthi attacks on container ships in the Red Sea, the EU must respond. However, it is imperative that we take the voices of the Yemen in Yemen into account!
In December, together with the Delegation to the Arabian Peninsula, I travelled to Yemen - a country suffering from a terrible war that receives almost no international attention. This was the European Parliament's first official visit to Yemen since 2009.
More and more important decisions are being taken at EU level. As a result, attempts by third countries to exert influence legally – but also illegally – are increasing. I called for these countermeasures in my plenary speech:
The European Parliament has awarded the Sakharov Prize 2023 to Jina Mahsa Amini (posthumously) and the Woman Life Freedom movement. Now it is time to follow up words with actions.
COP 28 is taking place in the United Arab Emirates this year. We need the Gulf states on the team “climate protection” and at the same time, we must clearly address human rights violations. More in my plenary speech.
As head of the delegation to the Arabian Peninsula, I travelled to Saudi Arabia. Topics included the regional security situation, the war in Ukraine, the fight against climate change in the run-up to COP 28 and Saudi Arabia's economic and social development, including human rights.
For the past 10 years, the al-Sisi regime has been brutally repressing Egypt’s citizens. Find out about the demands I made in my plenary speech.
Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the focus of the media has shifted again. However, we need to take action to protect those resisting their oppression on the ground.
The Iraqi festival gathered traditional music groups from all over the region, as well as European musicians. A unique experience in the heart of Mosul, which is still being rebuilt after ISIS occupation
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