Federica Mogherini, the head of the EU’s diplomacy, is visiting the United States and she used the occasion to warn that the increasing tension between Saudi Arabia, Iran and their respective aides is “extremely dangerous”. “I know that this is not the wind that is blowing as the majority voice in the world of today,” Mrs. Mogherini commented when speaking at the EU mission in Washington. “But allow me to bring a little bit of wisdom as the European voice in a world that seems to go completely crazy here: It’s dangerous,” she warned making clear that EU leaders would like to see both sides to calm their rhetoric and seek a “minimum of common ground” on which to pursue peace.
Mrs. Mogherini met neither US President Donald Trump nor her US counterpart Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who were both in Asia for talks dominated by North Korea. Donald Trump, however, used Twitter to express his support for Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on the country’s elite including royal family members and political and business leaders, citing corruption charges. Europe’s head of diplomacy was more cautious regarding the Saudi mass arrests, saying that Europe would support any steps towards modernization of the country’s economy and the fight against corruption.
Mrs. Mogherini did not comment on Donald Trump’s tweets but said that the European Union and Canada were among “very few” governments that see human rights at the center of their foreign policies. US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, however, backed a Saudi claim that Iran supplied a missile that Yemeni rebels apparently fired at Riyadh. Saudi prince Salman has called Saturday’s alleged intercepted ballistic missile strike a “direct military aggression” from Iran’s side, thus claiming the right to respond.