EU’s top diplomat calls for de-escalation in Middle East conflict

Brussels: During a visit to Lebanon, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell called for de-escalation given the tense situation on the border with Israel and the raging Gaza war.

“We agreed to work together through diplomacy towards deescalation and long-term stability, which are in the interest of everyone,” he said on X, referring to his meeting with Lebanon’s acting Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

In a further post, Borrell also called for a political solution to end the Gaza war.

Lebanon should not be dragged into a regional conflict with Israel, the EU’s foreign affairs chief said, according to the state agency NNA.

There would be no winners, he added, also addressing Israel.

Mikati said that a major attack in southern Lebanon would cause the region to “totally explode.”

Since the beginning of the Gaza war following the massacre by terrorists from the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement and other extremists in Israel on October 7, there have been almost daily confrontations between Israel’s army and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia in the border region.

It is the most serious escalation since the second Lebanon war in 2006, with regular shelling leading to deaths on both sides, including civilians.