‘We Are on the Edge of a Regional War’ in Middle East Warns European Union Diplomatic Chief

European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell (L) speaks with US Secretary of State An
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European Union’s top diplomat says “stop it” and tells Israel to give a “restrained answer” to Iran’s massive air attack last week and not attack Rafah in his call to avoid a wider war.

A region-spanning war in the Middle East will send “shock waves” to the rest of the world and “particularly Europe”, the bloc’s foreign services boss warns. Speaking in advance of a meeting of G7 group of nation foreign ministers on the Italian island of Capri on Thursday, EU foreign policy boss Josep Borrell said it was time for “ceasefire, humanitarian support, free the hostages” and repeatedly told Israel to not strike Rafah.

Warning of the possibility of a wider conflict breaking out, the diplomat said: “We have to ask Israel for a restrained answer to the Iranians attack. We cannot escalate. We cannot go step by step, answering every time higher to a regional war. I don’t want to exaggerate but we are on the edge of a war, a regional war in the Middle East”.

Such a war would “send shockwaves” to the world and “in particular to Europe”, he said. While Borrell wasn’t specific about what that would mean, in recent memory new conflicts in the Middle East and Africa have pushed waves of migrants and refugees to Europe, which the continent has found politically difficult to absorb. Terrorism is another long-running concern, with Europe’s Europol noting the danger of foreign fighters “who travel to and from conflict zones.”

Apparently addressing Israel, Borrell went on: “So stop it. Take care of the Gazan people: ceasefire, humanitarian support, free the hostages.

“If there is an attack on Rafah with 1.7 million people lining the streets it will be a humanitarian catastrophe. So the call to Israel has been very clear from President Biden himself, all European leaders, don’t attack Rafah.”

The Spanish socialist politician, now serving as the head of the EU’s foreign affairs mission, is not the first European diplomat to give their advice to Israel on the issue. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron, now ennobled as Lord Cameron and Britain’s top diplomat traveled to Israel this week and counseled the nation against responding the Iran’s massive airstrike on Sunday.

As reported, Lord Cameron told Israel to be “smart as well as tough” and said the country should act in a way that “does as little to escalate this as possible”. Like Borrell, Cameron said the focus should now be “getting the aid in… getting a pause in the conflict in Gaza”.


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