Kox: ‘European diplomacy is not about making friends but reducing animosity’

18 November 2014

Kox: ‘European diplomacy is not about making friends but reducing animosity’

'The Council of Europe must make better use of the possibilities that it has to act against the current crisis in Ukraine and the threat of a new Cold War. Too much is now being left to the European Union and the United States, who are clearly not in a position to bring about reconciliation. A treaty organisation of which every European country is a member has the right to call those members to account over their obligations under the treaty in order to preserve peace and protect wellbeing.’ So said SP Senator Tiny Kox following discussions in Brussels.

In Brussels Senator Kox spoke this week with the new president of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reijnders, as well as with Council of Europe Secretary-general Thorbjørn Jagland and the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the council of Europe (PACE), in which forty-seven member states cooperate and in which Kox is chair of the European United Left group.

Kox argues in favour of more international involvement to resolve the crisis in Ukraine and avoid a new Cold War, in line with others’ plans. Reijnders announced that he would shortly be going to meetings in both Kiev and Moscow, while Jagland travels this month to Moscow for a meeting with President Putin. The five political group chairs in PACE, following an earlier visit to the Russian Parliament, now intend to go to Kiev for talks with the newly-elected Ukrainian Parliament. Secretary General Jagland is to look into the possibility of holding an international conference on Ukraine’s future.

‘I’m in agreement with Minister Reijnders and Secretary General Jagland that we can’t afford to burn any more bridges but must do all we can to make use of political and parliamentary diplomacy in order to prevent still bigger mishaps’ said Kox. I hope that our government too understands this and that the Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders as well as meeting in Kiev will also hold talks with Moscow, instead of avoiding that. Diplomacy is not about making friends but reducing animosity.’

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