Borrell says not avoiding Gaza death his biggest regret


MADRID: European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said that the biggest regret of his term has been his failure to persuade the Israeli government to avoid the death and destruction in Gaza.

“Almost 40,000 people have been killed in Gaza, many of them women and children, and the international community and the EU have not been able to get a ceasefire and start thinking of a political solution after how many months?” he asked during his speech at the European Council on Foreign Relations meeting in Madrid on July 4.

He lamented that the EU has been a “non-actor” in the Middle East crisis.

“It is my biggest frustration and biggest example of how, when the EU is divided, we can not even fulfill the role of a geopolitical actor, which we pretend to be,” he said.

He also said the EU’s credibility is at risk due to its “division” and “irrelevance” in the situation.

“The heart of the EU could be below the ruins of Gaza,” he said.

“To clearly show the world that lives matter, whether in Ukraine or Gaza, is one of the most important political endeavors of the European Union. And when we say that cutting water, electricity and food to the civilian population is a war crime when we talk about Ukraine, the same words need to be used when we talk about Gaza. But this is not the case.”

Borrell said the EU will be judged by other nations, from South East Asia to Latin America to Africa, over its “capacity to defend basic principles” and the way it responds to this war.

His remarks came during a conversation with the incoming president of the European Council, Antonio Costa, who did not directly comment on Gaza.

Both Costa, from Portugal, and Borrell, from Spain, come from the Socialist Party.

As his parting advice to Costa, Borrell urged the former Portuguese prime minister to “make it clear” from day one that he is “the representative of the EU for foreign and security policy.”__Daily Hurriyet