EU Approaches Test Of Influence In Gulf

Issue 714 - 12 Jul 2003

Coming months will put the European Union to the test in the Gulf, as it seeks to demonstrate to what extent it can operate as a counterweight to US influence there. In  practice the EU already has a stronger hand than the US in its dealings with Iran, and it  has  begun  mobilising resources to take a more prominent role in Iraq. With a more  flexible view of the region than US policy-makers and more willingness to engage, the EU  has  a  very  real  opportunity  to  strengthen  its hand in the region. But the region has had similar hopes dashed before. By autumn it should become apparent whether Europe’s  willingness is matched by enough diplomatic muscle to make a difference.

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