Source: Screenshot / YouTube / Al Jazeera

Szijjarto: Gulf countries key to preventing escalation in Middle East

The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) may be key to preventing the escalation of the situation in the Middle East, and the European Union should strengthen ties with them, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said in Muscat on Tuesday.
11. October 2023 5:47

Speaking after a meeting of foreign ministers of the EU and the GCC, Peter Szijjarto said Europe was facing serious security threats from the war in Ukraine in the east and migration in the south. Hungary’s geography makes it a subject to both types of pressure, he added.

Migration is primarily caused by armed conflicts, wars and terrorism, but changes in global security also have an impact, he said. “If global security improves, the migration pressure on Europe eases,” he said.

Europe has a vested interest in ending armed conflicts worldwide as soon as possible, he said.

Szijjarto condemned the terrorist attack on Israel and expressed his concerns regarding the conflict resulting in a large-scale humanitarian catastrophe. He lamented that the “peace dynamics” achieved by the Abraham Accords “will have to take a back seat now, and it will take hard work to prevent them from withering completely.”

Szijjarto held talks with his Bahraini counterpart on Tuesday. “He also said we should do everything we can to preserve what remains from those achievements, or at least the hope that we can return to that road one day,” he said.

The minister also had talks with his Kuwaiti, Omani and Saudi counterparts, and Qatar’s state minister for foreign affairs. They agreed that the international community must focus on preventing escalation.

The Gulf countries had an important role in stabilising the fragile Middle East earlier, and contributed to the closure of many a conflict, he said. “Let us hope they can play … the same role now,” he said.

He called on the EU and the GCC to strengthen cooperation by closing important issues such as visa exemption and a free trade agreement.

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