EU foreign ministers call on all in Middle East to ‘move away from abyss’

European Union foreign ministers have taken a strong stance asking all actors in the Middle East to move away from the abyss, in order not to fall into it, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

Borrell was speaking after EU foreign ministers met in an informal video conference on April 16 to discuss the latest developments in the Middle East in light of the recent attack with drones and missiles against Israel from Iran.

He said that the informal ministerial discussion showed the EU’s unity in its strong condemnation of the Iranian attack, its commitment to Israel’s security, its willingness to avoid further escalation, and in the call on all sides to show restraint.

Borrell confirmed that work in the coming weeks will focus on increasing the EU’s outreach with all key partners in the region and beyond, and on restrictive measures.

This may entail expanding the scope of the existing regime targeting Iran’s military support of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine through drones, to include the possibility to sanction Iranian missiles as well as drone deliveries to Iranian proxies in the Middle East.

He emphasised the need not to forget Gaza, and recalled that there is no possibility to build enduring peace in the region if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not resolved.

For this reason the EU must continue to work towards an immediate and sustainable ceasefire, the release of hostages by Hamas, and addressing the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza, the statement after the meeting said.

(Photo of Borrell: Pietro Naj Oleari)

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