The EU must go beyond just a strategy to help solve the worsening conflict in the Middle East – that was the main message of the plenary debate on Tuesday with MEPs and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. They also warned about the rising extremism in the Middle East which makes the situation even more complicated and repeated that the two-state solution was the only way out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a separate debate MEPs and Mogherini discussed the worrying situation in South Sudan.
Some MEPs praised the political work done by Ms Mogherini to mediate a peaceful solution between Israel and Palestine. However, some stressed that the EU needs to move beyond the strategies, as “talks only” were no longer enough.
“Ms Mogherini, you have the entire support of this House for everything she will do”, said Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG) and stressed the need to show strong leadership on both Israeli and Palestinian side. Gianni Pittella (S&D, IT) appreciated Ms. Mogherini’s work behind the scenes. “The role of the EU is to give Israeli and Palestine people hope again”, added Pittella.
Anna Elżbieta Fotyga (ECR, PL) emphasized that the conflict must stop as soon as possible. “Radicalism is the threat,” Fotyga warned. Hilde Vautmans (ALDE, BE) mentioned steps which are necessary to undertake. “We need bilateral contracts, entry point to the political process and peace initiatives”, Vautmans said.
“Talks for talks will help neither Palestinians nor Israelis” said Martina Anderson (GUE-NGL, UK). “Many actions could be taken but I do not see any visible action”, Margrete Auken (Greens, DK) appealed to the EU. Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD, IT) urged the EU on peace initiative. “Clear political decision is needed”, added Castaldo. “EU should be more effective”, said Mario Borghezio (ENF, IT), who wished there were more “visible results” in the region.
MEPs and Ms Mogherini spoke also about the continuing conflict in South Sudan. They emphasized that there are not many places in the world where the situation is more severe than in South Sudan. They suggested it was necessary to ensure the arms embargo and implement the peace deal signed in August.