Tuesday 23 April 2024 - 21:12

Arab-EU Meeting on Gaza: Motivations and Outcomes

Story Code : 1130671
Arab-EU Meeting on Gaza: Motivations and Outcomes
Meanwhile, important Arab countries have started a new round of diplomatic movements to put pressures on the Israeli regime to end its genocidal war on the besieged enclave. To this end, on Monday a joint unprecedented meeting gathered together the foreign ministers of (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Union delegation to discuss ways of de-escalation in the region and Gaza developments.

The (P) GCC in a statement said that its head Jassim al-Bedaiwi and foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman took part in the meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Mohammad bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim, the foreign minister of Qatar from the Persian Gulf countries and Josep Burrell, the foreign policy officer of the European Union from the European side.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar announced in a statement that regional developments and ways to ease tensions, establish peace especially after the end of the Gaza war, developments in the Russia-Ukraine crisis, maritime security, and freedom of navigation were discussed in this meeting.

Also, Saudi foreign ministry announced in a statement that during this meeting, discussions were held regarding the strengthening of security and strategic cooperation and developments in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings, and the importance of achieving a ceasefire and providing more aid was emphasized.

Referring to the issues raised in the meeting, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan confirmed that there are talks in the European Union to recognize the state of Palestine. He described this European consideration as "very positive."

In the meeting, al-Bedaiwi said that this meeting was coming amid the highly dangerous consequences of ongoing Israeli military operations and the inhumane Israeli actions in Gaza and other Arab countries. The (P) GCC condemned continuation of the Israeli war in Gaza and called for an immediate ceasefire, delivery of humanitarian aid, and arrangements of an international conference to discuss ways to find a solution to foundation of an independent Palestinian state.

"We once again support an international conference with the aim of discussing the Palestinian issue and reaching a solution to end the Israeli occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state with Eastern Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital," he said.

Al-Bedaiwi warned about further escalation between the Israeli regime and Iran and called for all sides to show self-restraint to avoid consequences of war in the region.

This Arab-European meeting is held at a time the situation in Gaza is extremely disastrous 7 months after the start of the Israeli invasion. So far, tens of thousands of Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed and injured in these attacks, and the infrastructure of the Gaza Strip has been extensively destroyed. Also, the continuation of the blockade of Gaza has caused a severe shortage of food, water, medicine and fuel and the occurrence of humanitarian disasters. 

Arab rulers seeking a relief from public engagement 

The belated moves by the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies to end the war come while many of Arab rulers over the past seven months not only have not helped Gaza, but also through their silence and even covert help to the Israeli regime supported massacre of Palestinians. Aljazeera, for example, has recently revealed Emirati and Saudi aid to the Israeli regime. The two countries have facilitated transfer of goods from the Persian Gulf to the Israeli regime as Yemen imposes a ban on the Israeli ships and ports in the Red Sea in solidarity with Gaza. 

The Arab public opinion demand that their rulers take serious actions against the Israeli genocide of Palestinians, but the compromising Arab rulers have not taken any steps to put pressure on Tel Aviv, and this has led to the anger of the public opinion.

 The wave of public protest in the Arab world has increased after Iran-led Axis of Resistance came to the aid of Palestine with all its might and inflicted fatal blows on the Israeli occupation in recent months. Actually, now the Arab citizens expect their governments to follow the path of the Resistance camp. 

Despite the fact that Iran's missile and drone strikes on the Israeli regime drew warm welcome from Arab public across the region, some Arab governments instead of backing Iran joined the US-led camp to intercept the Iranian attack in show of good service to the Israelis— something causing backlash in the Arab world. So, it can be said that the (P) GCC, which finds its image and credibility at stake amid growing popularity of the Tehran-led Axis of Resistance, has taken some moves along with the EU to paint itself caring about the Palestinian nation and pushing for war end.

The concerned Europe

The EU, which is trying to end the violence in Gaza independent of the US , pursues its own goals. At the beginning of the war in Gaza, Western countries firmly supported the occupying regime, and the officials of these countries travelled to the occupied territories one after the other to offer backing to the leaders of Tel Aviv. Diplomatic support in the UN and the military aid were actions that the Europeans and the US took for Israel, and this has made them complicit in the crimes of this regime in Gaza.

However, over time, the Israelis have somehow reviewed their pro-Israeli support and voiced their support to end of war and aid delivery to the war-stricken civilians amid the heavy wave of Israeli crimes in Gaza and the backlash amongst the Western public. The European support stance between abstention and green light to the UN Security Council’s resolution on permanent Palestinian membership at the UN and open opposition to invasion of Rafah by the European leaders falls within this approach.

Unlike the US which closed its eyes to the Israeli crimes in Gaza and even instead of stopping the war, approved a new aid package of billions of dollars to help Israel, the Europeans are now walking in a different direction from Washington. Some countries, including Spain, Norway and Ireland, in the midst of the Gaza war, have repeatedly declared their readiness to recognize the state of Palestine and have asked the international community to join this campaign, and these unprecedented positions show that Europe has realized that the main cause of insecurity in the occupied territories is not the Palestinian resistance groups but the Israeli hardliners who have ignited the fire of war in the region in order to achieve their occupation goals and therefore are not ready to support this regime as before. Actually, the Europeans know that they will more than others fall victim to this warmongering.

Due to their proximity to the Middle East, the Europeans more than the US feel the consequences of insecurity and instability in the region. Over the past decade, millions of refugees from Libya, Syria, and other countries fled their countries to Europe due to the regional crises, causing serious issues to the European countries. 

Since Netanyahu and his cabinet officials are seeking to force Gazans out of the enclave through a ground invasion of Rafah as the last shelter of 1.5 million displaced civilians, the Europeans are afraid that a large number of Palestinians could migrate to Europe to flee the genocide. Europe is not ready to host Palestinian refugees as it is already busy with Ukraine war and is hosting millions of Ukrainians. For this reason, EU leaders work with Arab rulers to end Gaza war as soon as possible and survive its future consequences. After all, they know that amid inflamed tensions between Iran and the Israeli regime in recent weeks, risk of war is more than any other time is upon the region and this is worrisome for Europe.

Also, due to Yemeni Ansarullah's operations in the Red Sea against Israeli ships and the escalation of tensions in this maritime area, the export process of oil and gas has also been disrupted, and the Europeans, who are in dire need of energy resources, have suffered more than others. Meanwhile, decrease in exports of Qatar's gas to Europe through the Red Sea has fueled the concerns of the West in recent months. 

After the Ukraine war, Europe has suffered a substantial financial damage as Western embargo cut off Russian oil and gas flow to Europe. In the past two years, Europe's hope was on the Persian Gulf energy supplies to provide part of their needs. For this reason, they do not want to lose the energy of the Persian Gulf because of the crimes of the Israelis in Gaza as they know that heightened tensions in the Red Sea will stop oil and gas supplies from the region. This was one of the reasons many European countries did not join the US-led naval coalition against Yemen. 

Despite the political activism of Persian Gulf Arab rulers to put an end to Gaza war, as long as no punitive and practical measures are not taken against the Israeli regime, hoping for Tel Aviv to stop its war machine will be like beating the air.