Near and Middle East


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

“If the EU wants to play a role in the Middle East, it must not be perceived as an appendage to the USA. It must stand with both feet on the ground of international law and condemn equally all those who violate this international law,” I told the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday.

Earlier, EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Borrell and Commission President von der Leyen had called for de-escalation. Criticism of the US was very slight, and warnings were issued mainly unilaterally to Iran. Overall, the EU appeared neither coordinated nor independent here – a false start from the Leyen’s “geopolitical commission”.

Such unilateral statements damage the reputation of the EU, which is currently still being called upon to act as a mediator. This was expressed by several surrounding countries of Iran. “We are perceived as a neutral and fair political negotiator in the region and should offer every possible platform,” I told SZ. “This could be a conference organised by the EU itself, or we could support an actor from the region in such a process”.

The volume of EU trade with the region is five times greater than that with the US. Both the relevance of these countries and our influence should therefore not be underestimated.

Click here for the complete interview

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