World, Europe

EU pushes for peaceful negotiations in Middle East

EU’s foreign policy chief condemns air strike in Libya, regrets Iran’s withdrawal from 2015 nuclear deal

Agnes Szucs   | 06.01.2020
EU pushes for peaceful negotiations in Middle East EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles. ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

BRUSSELS

Multilateralism and peaceful negotiations should prevail for the solution of crises in the Middle East, according to the European Union.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, issued several communications on Monday about the recent developments in Libya and Iran.

The EU’s chief diplomat underscored the necessity of political solutions in both cases as, he argued, military answers can only lead to more violence and human suffering.

Borrell expressed his deep regret about Iran’s decision on quitting the 2015 nuclear deal.

He pointed out that the implementation of Iran nuclear deal was now more important than ever for the regional and global security, and confirmed that EU would continue relying on the verification process of the International Energy Agency.

Meanwhile, Peter Stano, a spokesman for European Commission on security and foreign policy, confirmed on Monday that the EU’s invitation for Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to Brussels is still valid.

Borrell talked to Zarif over the phone at the weekend, and invited him to Brussels to discuss de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East and nuclear non-proliferation.

The EU is hopeful that Iran’s Zarif will accept the invitation in the upcoming days, according to the spokesman. Stano also said both sides are interested in continuing the mutual engagement.

In a separate statement, EU’s Borrell condemned the air strike on a military school in Libya on Saturday.

The attack was carried out by the order of warlord Khalifa Haftar, who wants to take over the power from the internationally recognized government led by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.

“The European Union calls on all sides to engage in a political process under the leadership of the United Nations”, wrote Borrell.

Spokesman Stano reiterated Borrell’s stance and added that any military intervention would only make it harder to achieve a political solution and would end up causing more instability in the region.

Referring to Turkey’s commitment to deploying troops in Libya, Stano urged all the partners to respect the UN arms embargo.

The European foreign ministers are expected to hold an extraordinary meeting this week to discuss the recent development in the Middle East.

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