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Would Europe?

Jan 23,2020 - Last updated at Jan 23,2020

His Majesty King Abdullah's passionate address to the European Parliament on January 15 was delivered with the aim of conveying several timely messages.

A most urgent one, in my opinion, is the appeal for Europeans to act.

Act on what?

Act on two crucial issues, and on two fronts.

The first relates to our region at large, particularly with respect to Syria, Libya and the Iraq-Iran front.

Syria has been subject, deliberately subjected, rather, to a lot of violence and sabotage by inner forces that have been unable to settle their political differences through dialogue and peaceful means, and by outer forces that have selfish economic and political interests and evil schemes.

The same can be said about Libya, where several external players are making use of internal differences to further their own agendas at the expense of the aspirations of the Libyan people.

As for the Iraqi situation, the US and Iran, two external forces with hegemonic and colonial intentions, are settling their accounts on a sovereign territory that belongs to neither, are wreaking havoc and preventing the country from evolving into a democracy under which all Iraqis live in peace and dignity.

Europe is called upon to intervene civilly and diplomatically here as a peacemaker, as Germany seems to be doing, to enable the political players within these countries to come up with a governance formula that allows the participation of all.

The second relates to the question of Palestine where Israeli illegal occupation and settlement plans continue unabated regardless of UN resolutions and regardless of the peace agreements that Israel signed with the Palestinians, and regardless of human rights.

His Majesty’s particular appeal is for Europe to intervene to rescue the two-state solution, the only formula conducive to peacemaking at the Palestinian-Israeli level.

The one-state solution, as the King made clear on so many occasions, is a disastrous option.

And the striking point that His Majesty made in the speech, as he always makes on several occasions, is that without peace in the region there will be no peace in the world, and without peace in Palestine there is no peace in the region.

Why is His Majesty addressing Europe?

Europe is relevant in at least two ways.

First, whatever happens in our region has a direct bearing on Europe, with Europe being a next-door neighbour.

Syria and Libya are so close to Europe, separated only by the Mediterranean, that any security or safety breech in these countries will definitely and directly affect Europe, as recent incidents have proven.

Refugees flock to Europe in huge numbers, with or without invitation, especially from Libya which is so close and which is Africa’s gate to Europe.

So Europe has a vested interest and a pressing need to have a stable Middle East and North Africa.

Secondly, it is because Europe, unlike America, has the potential to be a fair broker and is in support of the two-state solution.

America, because of the current administration’s extreme bias toward Israel, has entirely lost its impartiality and reliability as a peace patron.

Europe, a close neighbour and an advocate of human rights, is qualified to be a fair player.

No other party can play such a role.

Would Europe live up to what is expected of it?

This remains to be seen, and we sure hope it would.

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