López-Istúriz: “the European Union urgently needs a Strategic Partnership with the Gulf”

Brussels/Madrid. March 22, 2022– EPP Secretary General and MEP Antonio López-Istúriz stressed this morning the importance of building a Strategic Partnership with the Gulf, during his intervention at a public hearing of the External Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

López-Istúriz underlined that the current energy crisis marks an ideal moment to advance European coordinated efforts in different areas of mutual interest, such as energy, the EU green deal, digital and new technologies.

While asking that ideas be urgently turned into action, he stressed the importance of empathy when conducting foreign policy. Stating “we need to understand how Europeans are perceived in the region,” he asked all the political groups “to be reasonable and find ways to collaborate” as “friendship also means that we can talk about our differences and unresolved issues, like labour or human rights.”

“We are entering a new world order and Europeans need to be realistic about our place in it. We can incentivise and greatly profit from initiatives that seek economic integration, like the Abraham Accords”. Arguing that when economic and people-to-people exchanges increase so will prosperity and peace, he recalled the need for the EU to make similar coordinated efforts, instead of bilateral agreements that European countries have made in the past.

López-Istúriz also criticised the hypocrisy from certain left-wing EU governments who have visited the region asking for help in solving the current energy crisis while boycotting vital and productive elements of our relationship such as the Dubai Expo 2021.