European Views and Policies Toward the Middle East [Updated March 9, 2005]   [open pdf - 154KB]

From the Summary: "Many analysts assert that the United States and Europe share common vital interests in the Middle East: combating terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; promoting Middle East peace and stability; ensuring a reliable flow of oil; and curtailing Islamic extremism. U.S. and European policies to promote these goals often differ considerably. Although the European governments are not monolithic in their opinions on the Middle East, European perspectives have been shaped over time by common elements unique to Europe's history and geo-strategic position. Many Europeans believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be a priority. They view it as a key driver of terrorism, Islamic extremism, and political unrest among Europe's growing Muslim populations. In contrast, the U.S. Administration stresses that terrorism and weapons proliferation are the primary threats and must be pro-actively confronted; peace and stability in the region will not be possible until these twin threats are removed. A number of other factors, such as divergent perceptions of the appropriate role of the use of force and growing European Union (EU) ambitions to play a larger role on the world stage, also contribute to the policy gaps that have emerged."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31956
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