European foreign policy against the backdrop of COVID-19: focus on the Middle East

Foreign Minister Maas in a video conference with the EU Foreign Ministers

Foreign Minister Maas in a video conference with the EU Foreign Ministers, © Janine Schmitz/photothek.net

15.05.2020 - Article

Developments in the neighbouring region were the focus of today’s video conference of the EU Foreign Ministers, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Libya and the Middle East conflict. The EU wants to support neighbouring Mediterranean countries.

Economic and political stability

The situation in the Mediterranean countries has direct implications for Europe. The European Commission is therefore making over two billion euros available to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

Libya: implementing the arms embargo

The conflict in Libya has gained in intensity in spite of the pandemic. The EU is helping to ensure that the arms embargo is implemented with operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI. At their video conference today, the EU Foreign Ministers discussed how the Berlin Process initiated by Germany is being pursued and how the EU can jointly bring its influence to bear on the parties to the conflict and their supporters.

The Middle East conflict: a special responsibility

With respect to recent developments in the Middle East and the upcoming inauguration of the new Israeli Government, the Foreign Ministers also discussed the EU’s further approach in the Middle East peace process. It is clear to the Federal Government that the EU and its members continue to stand by the objective of a negotiated two-state solution.

Prior to the video conference, Foreign Minister Maas emphasised the importance of common European action:

The European Union is one of Israel’s closest partners, which is why our position entails a special responsibility. I have strongly advocated that the EU adopt a common position on this issue.


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