FM Gerapetritis: The EU and the Gulf countries must jointly address the challenges in the Middle East

Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis emphasized the need for all countries to work “for the revitalization of the political process and the implementation of the two-state solution in the Middle East,” during the EU-Gulf Cooperation Council High-Level Forum in Luxembourg on Monday. 

Gerapetritis stressed the importance of the Forum for the development of the strategic relationship between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Moreover, he stated, the recent escalation of the crisis in the Middle East, with Iran’s attack on Israel, underscores “how vulnerable the international environment is.”

In this context, the concerns of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries about the possible expansion of the crisis in the region are entirely understandable. “All parties should demonstrate the utmost restraint and utilize available tools and channels of communication to prevent such a possibility,” he said.

The Greek FM referred to the common risks faced by the EU and  Gulf Cooperation Council countries, such as maritime security, refugee and migrant flows, and the need to protect pilgrimage travel. He underscored the importance of the EU’s naval operation ‘Aspides’ in the Red Sea for unobstructed global trade.

Gerapetritis reiterated Greece’s position on overcoming the crisis: “An immediate ceasefire in the region must be achieved, leading to a permanent ceasefire and the release of hostages. The resolutions of the United Nations Security Council must be implemented without delay, and a significant increase in humanitarian aid provided to the Palestinians must be guaranteed.”