EU, G7 leaders urge de-escalation amid heightened Middle East tensions

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo called for urgent de-escalation in the wake of rising tensions between Iran and Israel.

“We must do everything possible to ensure that all sides refrain from escalating the situation in the region,” von der Leyen said at a press conference in Finland on Friday. The comments followed a visit to the Finnish-Russian border.

Their remarks echoed calls from the Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers, who met in Capri, Italy, the same day. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the G7’s commitment to de-escalation while reiterating American support for Israel’s security.

“We are committed to Israel’s security; we are also committed to de-escalating,” Blinken said, clarifying that the US wasn’t involved in a recent Israeli strike.

Despite the Iran-Israel tensions, the G7 ministers primarily focused on the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Their final document reaffirmed support for a “sustainable peace based on a two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State.” All sides were urged to “refrain from unilateral actions that undermine the prospect of a two-state solution.”

The G7 expressed deep concern about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Since the October 2023 outbreak of hostilities, Israeli attacks have resulted in nearly 34,000 Palestinian fatalities and over 76,000 injuries, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that at least 13,800 Palestinian children were among the dead.

The G7 ministers strongly opposed a potential full-scale Israeli military operation in Rafah, where a majority of the 1.7 million displaced Palestinians from the conflict are sheltering. Such an operation, they warned, “would have catastrophic consequences on the civilian population.”

Furthermore, they called for immediate measures to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza, citing the imminent risk of famine for a large portion of the population.

The G7 pronouncements contrasted with the US stance on Thursday, where it voted against Palestinian membership at the UN Security Council. This decision raised concerns about the US commitment to Palestinian rights.

Share This Article
Leave a comment