EU foreign ministers to discuss M-E issue

World Tuesday 16/April/2024 15:21 PM
By: DW
EU foreign ministers to discuss M-E issue

Brussels: The foreign ministers of European Union (EU) member states will on Tuesday be holding informal talks to discuss the current situation in the Middle East.

Talks will be chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and come after Israel’s military leadership indicated it would respond following Iran’s attack on Saturday.

Allies including Germany and France have called for measures to be taken to de-escalate the situation.

Israel’s military chief, Herzi Halevi, on Monday said Iran’s attack on Israel over the weekend “will be met with a response.”

Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday in its first-ever direct attack, which it says was in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria in which high-ranking officers were killed.

Israel says 99% of the drones and missiles were intercepted with the help of the United States and other allies.

Meanwhile US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said he had spoken to Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant about the aftermath of what called “Iran’s unprecedented April 13 attacks.”

Austin said he “reiterated steadfast US support for Israel’s defence” while also reaffirming “shared interest in regional stability.”

German foreign minister meeting Jordanian counterpart in Berlin

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock will be hosting Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi in Berlin on Tuesday for talks.

The Arab state, which borders Israel and the West Bank, came to Israel’s aid over the weekend along with others, including the UK and the US.

Jordan opened up its airspace to Israeli and US planes, and also shot down drones that violated its own airspace.

On Monday, Baerbock said that Israel had been successful in defensive efforts that needed to be backed up with diplomatic measures to avoid escalation.

Baerbock said she had spoken to Iran’s foreign minister on Sunday and clearly warned him about further escalation. -DW