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Working together to prevent escalation

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.net

18.06.2019 - Article

At the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, Foreign Minister Maas called for “diplomacy first” in the Middle East

Although the tense situation in the Gulf region was not the only issue discussed at today’s Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, it was the dominant topic. On the fringes of the meeting, Heiko Maas called for greater diplomatic efforts in the Region:

The European Union will play a key role in helping to stabilise the situation in the Middle East. Everyone is called upon to do their part in bringing about de‑escalation. It cannot be that everyone says they do not want war but no‑one actually does anything to prevent it. Now is the time for diplomacy first. The EU, too, has to spell that out.

#MultilateralismMatters

Greater cooperation is urgently needed, not only in the Middle East but also in relation to other international challenges such as climate protection or the digital transformation. That is why Germany, together with France, Canada and others has called for an alliance for multilateralism. During the last few weeks, many like‑minded countries have joined them, from Australia to Ghana and from Chile to Norway. It is clear to the EU that nations cannot resolve any important international problems on their own. States must adhere to rather than undermine rules. Today, the EU Foreign Ministers discussed strengthening multilateral cooperation, also within the framework of the EU’s Global Strategy.

Striving for an effective Common Foreign and Security Policy

Resolving problems together is the very essence of the EU. In order to ensure its continued success, an effective Common Foreign and Security Policy is necessary. Maas is therefore calling for the principle of unanimity to be abandoned and urging the Union to adopt qualified majority voting in certain policy Areas.

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