EU appeals to Gulf countries to de-escalate situation

Author: ARAB NEWSSat, 2017-06-10 20:08ID: 1497104092238297300
BRUSSELS: The EU is talking to all sides directly involved in the diplomatic crisis with two simple messages — avoid any further escalation and engage in a political dialogue, in particular taking advantage of the Kuwaiti mediation efforts, said a top EU official.
Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, said the EU has good relations with all countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). “We also believe that regional cooperation in the Gulf and around the Gulf is key for different reasons,” she said.
To have effective work on counter-terrorism, including fighting terror financing, regional cooperation in the Gulf is important for our security and for the stability of the region, she added.
She said it is vital for economy and trade too. “Not only is the region very much interconnected, through people, businesses, trade and security, people and communities are also interlinked around the Gulf.
She added that restoring a good level of regional cooperation would benefit all citizens of the Gulf.
She said the EU also has a direct interest “because this risks affecting the work we do together on the security. We are together in the coalition against Daesh, we are together in our efforts to find a way out of the crisis in Syria and we need our partners to come together again. We also have a direct European interest in terms of economic investments and trade relations.”
She added: “We see a clear risk of the situation escalating further and spreading in an unpleasant and dangerous manner beyond the region of the Gulf, be it in Africa, or in South East Asia or in the Middle East.”
She said direct contacts with the parties involved would continue in the coming days, with the purpose of supporting what Kuwait is doing to defuse tensions.
“We do not want to multiply mediation efforts. Kuwaiti efforts succeeded during a similar but less dramatic crisis in 2014,” she said, adding: “We have put the EU’s help and support at their (Kuwait’s) disposal” to be used in the best possible manner.
She said the same message would be sent to other parties not directly involved in the standoff.
Asked if she was planning to pay a visit to the region herself to support mediation efforts, she said: “If needed, obviously I would be ready to do it… If a visit can be considered useful, first of all by our Kuwaiti friends, I would be ready to do it, anytime.”
Main category: Middle-EastTags: Qatar in crisis

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