A first historic summit between the European Union and the League of Arab States concluded this evening, with economic cooperation and conflict resolution topping the agenda. During opening remarks at the conference, held in the Red Sea Resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk stressed the importance of unity to confront “common challenges” and “to create the right conditions for long-term stability,” which he said “is the only way to guarantee our citizens the peace and prosperity they deserve.”
Despite the European Council’s President’s admission to existing differences between Europe and the Arab world, he urged all sides to work together on “shared interests” and “not leave it to global powers far from our region.”
While Tusk refrained from further elaborations, the EU Foreign Policy chief voiced her aspiration that the summit would primarily focus on economic cooperation and conflict resolution. Federica Mogherini expressed hope that the participants could focus their partnership toward adopting common approaches to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel’s relations with the Arab world at large; as well as the wars in Syria, Yemen and Libya. Those calls were later echoed by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.