After a U.S. strike in Baghdad on Friday morning that killed the powerful Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, Iran has vowed to take revenge on the United States, raising fears of a dangerous escalation in the Middle East.
Since Friday, many voices have expressed concern and called for dialogue, such as that of the Belgian government’s foreign minister, Philippe Goffin.
Europe’s and Belgium’s responsibility is “to ensure that the escalation stops and that we return to the path of dialogue and diplomacy to curb the risk of international conflict that is very real at the moment,” Foreign Minister Philippe Goffin told RTBF.
“We cannot contest that there is a true risk of conflict now,” Goffin added.
As for European militarily engaged alongside America in Iraq and Syria as part of the coalition fighting the Islamic State organization, “it is necessary to stop the escalation. As part of the coalition, we asked the United States for the reasons that led Donald Trump to order that strike. We’re waiting for the answer.”
For the Liberal Minister, the situation does not invalidate the role of the international anti-jihadist coalition on the field, even though its action have been suspended following the killing of Soleimani.
“As for now, the coalition is protecting itself, and protecting its own interests,” but “the question of a withdrawal of forces has not arisen in the current state of affairs,” he said.