“Europe needs a credible security strategy for Middle East” – Alyn Smith MEP
Alyn Smith MEP, SNP member of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, commended the final report of the European Parliament on state of the Middle East and North Africa, at a historical and difficult time for both regions.
During a full parliament debate with the European External Action Service, Alyn, who was leading for his group, applauded the overall shape of the report, though expressed disappointment that the actions of Israel were not more strongly criticised, and that Daesh overshadowed much of the final text, thereby neglecting other equally concerning organisations.
Speaking at the debate, Alyn said:
“There is much to admire in this report. Our group is broadly supportive and I am very pleased to see that our wording on social injustice and inequality, and on how that is a breeding ground for radicalisation, is included, as are security, instability and corruption and how they interplay. The wording on the Israeli settlements and their malign influence within the wider region is also included.
"The all-out oppression of the Assad regime within Syria, the use of drones, the strategic importance of the Nile and the need to accelerate human rights in the EU – League of Arab States dialogue, is all very positive wording. That is not to say that we are entirely satisfied. This is a report about the security challenges in the wider region, yet it does focus very much on Daesh – mentioning Daesh 21 times. Daesh is, of course, a dreadful organisation, but it is one organisation amongst many in a very complex picture. Often it is as much a symptom as a cause.
"I would personally like to see much more vocal criticism of Israel’s actions in the region, given that it is a recruiting sergeant for radicalisation. We also call, in the report, on some states to refrain from exporting terrorism. I am not sure that is helpful language; I am not sure it adds much value either. We also call for the EU to provide a safe haven for Christians, in particular from the Middle East, in the EU. If we are trying to criticise sectarianism, we should refrain from it ourselves. The plight of any refugee, regardless of their ethnicity or their religion, is equally dreadful.”
You can see Alyn's speech in full either below or on his YouTube channel