EU role in Middle East peace process cannot be guided by stalemate

  • 2020-02-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the European Union in Brussels on Monday emphasized that the EU cannot ignore the new initiative in the Middle East peace process question and should work to find solutions.

"We cannot once again remain on hold for decades on this issue of global importance, but action is needed, and the United States' initiative has made it possible. The European Union now has the opportunity, by working closely with the US, to bring the different sides together behind one table," Reinsalu said. He also highlighted the joint statement made by EU member states part of the UN Security Council last week that emphasized commitment to transatlantic partnership and attempts to find a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Reinsalu added that it is important to achieve stability in the region. At the same time, it is important for the parties to avoid unilateral steps that could damage progress with the peace process. According to the minister, he had the opportunity this weekend at the Munich Security Conference to discuss the regional issues of the Middle East in a very diverse way, including at meetings with the foreign ministers of Jordan, Yemen and Iraq, the US permanent representative to the UN, and the chairman of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

On Monday, the FAC is to also discuss the situation in Libya and the Sahel region as well as long-term relations with Africa and India. In the afternoon, the Estonian foreign minister is to attend the international donors' conference, "Together for Albania", organized by the EU, and an extraordinary sitting of the General Affairs Council (GAC) regarding the EU budget.