EU appoints new special representative for Middle East

The EU Monday decided to appoint an Italian diplomat, Fernando Gentilini, as new special representative for Middle East, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini told a news conference at the end of a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
Analysts opine that the re-establishment of the post of the special EU envoy for the Middle East signals that Brussels wants to strengthen its role in reviving the stalled peace process.
Gentilini is currently the head of EU’s Western Balkans and Turkey division.
Replying to a question on reports that ex-British prime minister Tony Blair is to resign his post as the Middle East Quartet’s special envoy, Mogherini said the matter was not discussed by the EU foreign ministers.
“We discussed the future of the Quartet initiative. Blair’s responsibility is to focus on economic development and that is not the focus at the moment which is on relaunching the peace process,” she said.
Mogherini said the ministers debated EU relations with Africa, the situation in Libya and how the EU policy can contribute to tackling Europe’s migration challenges, with Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration.
“We held a strategic debate on Africa, not only crisis but also the opportunities the continent offers. We moved from a donors-recipient relationship to a full political partnership with Africa. Africa’s stability is Europe’s stability,” she said.
On Libya, Mogherini said after her talks in New-York last week with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and her talks in Egypt on Friday with Egyptian President Abdelfatah Al-Sisi, with the King of Jordan, with Foreign Minister of the UAE and others, “we updated our discussion with the full and active EU support to the political dialogue that has now been suspended for a few days and will resume as we learn on Thursday.

Check Also

Russia has again tried to change Europe’s borders by force. What’s next?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed treaties to begin the formal (and illegal) annexation of …