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Borrell admits conflict in Israel affecting policy towards Ukraine

by Rachel Amran November 7, 2023 12:55 AM 2 min read
The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, speaks upon his arrival at the 'Wake Up, Spain!' forum on March 30, 2023, in Madrid, Spain. (Photo credit: Jesus Hellin/Europa Press via Getty Images)
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In a speech delivered at the 2023 EU Ambassadors' Conference, the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, admitted that the conflict in the Middle East is affecting aid policies towards Ukraine.

"Both wars are different, completely different, in their causes and consequences," Borrell notes. "But let’s be frank: the crisis in the Middle East is already having a lasting impact on our policy in Ukraine."

He described his recent visit to Washington for the EU-US Summit in which he conveyed his concerns to American colleagues about the conflict in Israel potentially impacting international support for Ukraine on account of perceived "double standards."

Borrell specifically expressed fears about "countries in the Global South" taking advantage of the crisis in the Middle East to question Western positioning towards Ukraine.

"A large number of countries in the Global South see in Ukraine not a global issue, but a regional problem , which affects Europe and the United States - the Western world..And they will take advantage of the crisis to underscore what they see as a contradiction in our positioning or even a contradiction among Europeans, as expressed during the last United Nations [General Assembly] resolution vote."

Finally, Borrell urged European countries to reject the framing of the "West against the rest."

"We are not the outpost of the Western world," Borrell stated. "We are the keepers of global and shared values based on the United Nations Charter...We are the keepers of global and shared values based on the United Nations Charter...This is our message. It is not the West against the rest. It is the values of the United Nations Charter as the best ground of multilateralism."

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