Wednesday, 27 February 2019 00:00

Arab League and European Union summit

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Sharm el-Sheikh, a beautiful tourist city in the Red Sea region, in Egypt, Saturday and Sunday (24-25 February 2019), hosts a High-Level Conference between Arab League member countries and the European Union. This became the first summit of the two regions. Qatar, which at the last  Arab League summit was not present, this time attended with its representatives who sat in the Secretariat in Cairo. One reason why the Arab League held  this summit iwas the desire for the European Union to play a greater role in the Middle East region. Moreover, the United States slowly began to reduce its role. Palestinians at the summit specifically called on the Arab League and the European Union to cooperate in holding an international peace conference to revive the Israeli Palestinian negotiations which have stalled  since 2014. Palestinians object to the single role of the United States in mediating its problems with Israel especially since Washington moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Arab League and the European Union agree on the Palestinian issue, namely the two-state solution according to the UN resolution. On the other hand, the European Union seems to be displeased if the vacant role left by the United States is filled with other major influences, namely Russia and China. So in his closing speech European Council President Donald Tusk expressed the need for cooperation and not to let the Middle East region be under global power far from the region. In fact, Russia has been present strong enough with naval and air bases in Syria. While China does not enter from the military side, but from investment cooperation planted in Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is indeed hard for the European Union to immediately implement plans in the declaration because its position has been left behind. But the influence of the European Union can be strengthened because Arab countries open doors in the region. Now, the Summit is over, the Declaration has been signed. Remain action must be taken by the two regional organizations so that the declaration is not just a signed paper.

Read 223 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 February 2019 07:47