Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (9 January) to the newspapers of RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland:
It has so far proved possible to prevent escalation in the form of armed conflict, but the tensions in the region have not yet been defused. Iraq risks being entangled in the confrontation between the US and Iran – and this puts the hard-won achievements in stabilisation and the fight against IS at risk. We Europeans have invested a great deal here in recent years by providing military support, but mainly through civilian engagement worth billions of euros. Much is at stake there, also for our own security.
As Europeans, we have sound diplomatic channels to all sides. The EU can only exert influence if our combined weight is brought to bear. Our main aim on Friday will be to agree on a common approach to defuse the situation and to preserve the stabilisation achievements.
We will also inform our colleagues about the latest talks on Libya. The Berlin Process is perhaps a last chance to pave the way for a peace process in Libya and to prevent a new round of rearmament. We must make use of this opportunity. And for this, too, we need Europe’s united support.