Seminar brings Middle East anti-war forces together for debate with MEPs
Welcoming participants to today's GUE/NGL seminar 'Against war and intervention in the Middle East' in the European Parliament, GUE/NGL MEP Kyriacos Triantaphyllides called for democracy and dialogue to be used as the principal tools in problem-solving in the region.
“For today's GUE/NGL seminar, representatives of communist parties from Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Palestine and Israel have been invited, but unfortunately the representatives from Syria and Lebanon were not given a visa,” he said. “The seminar's main focus is on the efforts to oppose war and interventionist policies in the Middle East, in particular taking into account the current circumstances in Syria but also in other so-called Arab Spring countries.”
GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer opened the event by saying the problems up for discussion were by no means new, thanks to decades of major powers putting their own interests above those of the people of the region.
“The Syrian crisis has again exposed the failure of current European policy when it comes to the Middle East. While there is a glimmer of hope in the return to diplomacy in Syria, the situation remains complex and the refugee issue grows more urgent by the day. Meanwhile the EU continues to use all means at its disposal to prevent refugees entering EU territory,” she told participants, outlining the GUE/NGL's work to build a different approach to the current resources-obsessed, securitarian way in which the EU currently deals with such problems.
“You have our full solidarity in fighting against military interventionism. Your struggle is our struggle,” she said.
The following international representatives continued the discussions. Further details on the seminar will soon be available on www.guengl.eu .
Stefanos STEFANOU, Member Political Bureau AKEL, Cyprus
Moataz ELHEFNAWY, Responsible International Department, Egyptian Communist Party
Navid SHOMALI, Member Political Committee of the CC, Tudeh Party of Iran
Kemal OKUYAN, Member Central Committee, Turkish Communist Party
Bassam SALHI, General Secretary, Palestinian People's Party, Member PLC
Aida TOUMA-SLIMAN, Member Political Bureau, Communist Party of Israel
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08