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Ministers from Arab states are set to meet with European Union counterparts in Brussels in an effort to come together on ending the war in Gaza and building lasting peace. The meeting will include representatives from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, alongside the EU’s foreign ministers. Sven Koopmans, the EU’s special representative for the Middle East peace process, stated that the goal of the gathering is to find common positions on ways to end the fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The focus is on creating a coalition where collective efforts can be made towards peace without cornering any party involved.

The EU has faced divisions over the conflict in Gaza, particularly following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7. These divisions were evident when some EU members, including Spain and Ireland, announced their recognition of a Palestinian state, while France and Germany believed it was not the right time. The ongoing war in Gaza has resulted in a significant number of casualties, with nearly 36,000 Palestinians killed and Hamas reportedly conducting a rampage that led to the deaths of 1,200 people and the taking of over 250 hostages. Efforts have been made to prioritize key objectives such as ending the war, preventing a regional conflict, and working towards a peace settlement that establishes peaceful coexistence between Israel and a Palestinian state.

Despite the agreement on core priorities among EU members, challenges remain in solidifying plans for Gaza post-war, including determining governance and security responsibilities. Koopmans emphasized the need for a united effort involving the United States, Arab states, and European countries to establish peace in the region. He stressed the importance of collaboration and collective action in order to initiate progress towards peace. The Biden administration has also expressed support for a two-state solution as the foundation for lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, along with ensuring security guarantees for Israel.

The meeting in Brussels represents a continuation of ongoing diplomatic efforts to address the conflict in Gaza and work towards sustainable peace. By bringing together ministers from Arab states and the EU, there is an opportunity to consolidate common goals and strategies for ending the violence and advancing peace initiatives. While recognizing differences in opinion on issues like the recognition of a Palestinian state, the focus remains on the broader objective of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The EU has emphasized the importance of international cooperation and unified action in addressing the complex challenges in the region and making progress towards peace.

Efforts to navigate the complexities of the conflict in Gaza have been met with obstacles, including disagreements within the EU and divergent views on the timing of recognizing a Palestinian state. The staggering loss of life and ongoing hostilities highlight the urgent need for a concerted and collaborative approach to ending the war and establishing a framework for peace. The EU’s commitment to key priorities, such as preventing a regional war and supporting a Palestinian state, underscores the shared objective of achieving a sustainable and peaceful resolution to the conflict. By engaging in dialogue with Arab states and working collectively towards common goals, there is hope for progress in resolving the conflict and building a foundation for lasting peace in the region.

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