Heightened conflict in Ukraine could have serious consequences for European interests in the Middle East and North Africa. It could further disrupt energy supplies, exacerbate food insecurity, and help states in the region gain leverage over the US and Europe.
Syria / Iraq / Lebanon
Europeans who have at heart the sustainable return of refugees, in line with Europe’s core interests and with the will of the Syrian people, should focus on ensuring that conditions on the ground in Syria allow for safe, voluntary, and dignified returns
The August 2020 explosion left Lebanon in disarray, and thus far, the country’s principal political parties have united to delay, impede, and undermine the investigation
Europe should support the recent Iranian-Saudi talks in Baghdad as an opportunity to help stabilise the Middle East, despite risk of that engagement being derailed
A one-year extension to the current aid arrangements would be no one’s first choice – but would ensure civilians in Idlib continue to receive help
Circumventing the regime to support Syrians on the ground is difficult but Europeans need to adjust their Syria policy in favour of this effort
International courts are no substitute for politics – not least when the countries that set them up fail to back them
It is imperative that the European Union provide sustained support to key actors in Lebanon, working around the Lebanese state wherever possible
Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq are all teetering on the brink of economic collapse. Europe cannot afford to be a helpless bystander.
European countries should work to renew the UN Security Council resolution on cross-border humanitarian access to northern Syria, lest the area slides into a deeper humanitarian crisis