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EU and NATO in 'strategic discussion' on Middle East tension

by Ace Damon
EU and NATO in 'strategic discussion' on Middle East tension

NATO Secretary-General joins the European Union (EU) Heads of Diplomacy in Brussels at an extraordinary meeting on tension in the Middle East for a "strategic discussion" on action.

"I called this meeting to have a strategic discussion between the 28 Member States – we are still 28 – about recent events in Iran, Iraq and Libya," said EU High Representative Josep Borrell.

In brief remarks to reporters at the entrance to the meeting in Brussels, the head of European diplomacy indicated that the meeting also includes Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, "who was invited".

"Let's take a general look at the situation" in the Middle East and decide what "steps to take", said the official, without elaborating.

Josep Borrell said he hoped that this debate, which began shortly after 15:00 (local time, minus one in Lisbon), would last about four hours.

EU Foreign Ministers meet at an extraordinary Council convened by the head of European diplomacy to discuss the situation in the Middle East in the light of the confrontation between the United States and Iran.

The meeting was convened last Monday by Josep Borrell to "discuss recent developments in Iraq and Iran" and the contribution the Union can make to helping "reverse the escalation of tensions in the region," he explained. at the high.

The meeting, in which Portugal will be represented by Minister Augusto Santos Silva, is taking place at a time when the situation appears to be a little clearer, after US President Donald Trump declared on Wednesday that the The United States stands ready to "embrace peace with all who seek it" and to bet on the renegotiation of the 2015 nuclear agreement, removing the scene of a military conflict for now.

New and "powerful" sanctions against Tehran were the White House's announced response to Iranian missiles launched hours earlier against two Iraqi bases with US troops stationed there, in Ain al-Assad (west) and Erbil (north), which they feared. an escalation of confrontation.

The attack was claimed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a "revenge operation" in retaliation for the death of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of his Al-Quds force, on Friday, in an airstrike in Baghdad ordered by Trump.

Also on Wednesday, the College of the European Commission discussed the situation, with EU President Ursula von der Leyen stressing that "the European Union has a lot to offer" as a facilitator of dialogue between all actors, as "your voice is heard in the region".

The head of Portuguese diplomacy, Augusto Santos Silva, also commented on the situation last Wednesday, calling for the containment of all involved to avoid "a spiral of violence" in the Middle East.

(tagsToTranslate) Newsletter (t) JN (t) World (t) NATO (t) Voltage (t) Middle East

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