September 13, 2011
Guest post by: Corina Cretu, Vice-Chair of Committee on Development of European Parliament
I have regretfully noticed that the European diplomacy is unable to play the role of mediator; it cannot even be an arbitrator in a region of immediate proximity, whose chronic instability affects us directly. Unfortunately, there has been no progress on EU involvement to stop this process that amplifies the tensions in the Middle East.
The expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador to Ankara, the incident of the unjustified detention of dozens of Israeli tourists, the intention of the Prime Minister Erdogan’s to visit the Gaza Strip and the threat to intensify this Turkish warships in the eastern Mediterranean, including to protect the civil vessels taking aid to Gaza, are recent episodes that betray a growing anxiety on the Turkish side, after the publication of UN report on Gaza fleet raid last year.
To all this, we add the tensions between Israel and Egypt: the five policemen killed in August at the common border, the violent street protests in Cairo and the evacuation of the Israel’s ambassador. These are clear indications of the degradation of the Israeli relations with the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Hebrew state in 1979.
But the influence of Egypt in the area and especially in the Palestinian case is very important. Also, the strategic partnership between Turkey and Israel that was built in the last two decades is very important for the peace in the region and I consider that we must get more effectively involved in normalizing the relations between them.
Thus, increased pressure is required to resume diplomatic relations and for implementing the recommendations of the Palmer report on the incident flotilla. The UN General Assembly is following the vote for recognition of the Palestinian state independence. I think that the European Union should play a mediator role in the regional stability.
I find the crisis that we are going through more important than the discussion for or against the unilateral declaration of the Palestinian independence. The accumulation of tension and the secondary role of the European Union in the region concern us directly because the global peace depends on the entire situation in such a fragile environment.
Vice-Chair of Committee on Development
of European Parliament