EU Names New Middle East Special Envoy

European Union foreign ministers named Fernando Gentilini as new special representative for the Middle East on Monday, AFP reported, filling a post vacant since early 2014 in the hope of getting the stalled peace process “back on track,” officials said.


Gentilini – an Italian, as is EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini – currently heads the EU’s Western Balkans and Turkey division and his appointment will have to be confirmed by member states.


The Middle East position was created in 1996 after the Oslo Accords offered the prospect of a Israel-Palestinian peace deal.


Mogherini’s predecessor, Briton Catherine Ashton, abolished the office in a controversial move aimed at bringing the European Union’s peace efforts under one roof in its external affairs arm.


The EU also plays a prominent role in what is known as the Middle East Quartet, set up in 2000 by the UN, the EU, the United States and Russia to promote peace efforts but which has also become bogged down.


Read More: EU Names New Middle East Special Envoy – Global Agenda – News – Arutz Sheva