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For Its Own Sake, the EU Should Do More For the Arab World

European concerns about security and migration can best be addressed through better economic partnership.

Calling Europe.

Calling Europe.

Photographer: Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP

Given the political turmoil in their respective spheres, the European and Arab leaders who attended the first Arab League-European Union summit in Sharm El-Sheikh may not have realized they were missing a great opportunity. Indeed, they were quite distracted during the event — the Europeans, with Brexit, and the Arabs with Qatar’s decision to send a downgraded delegation to the gathering at the Red Sea resort.

This is disappointing, because the summit was a rare chance for top leaders from both sides to explore areas of potential collaboration in the face of common strategic challenges, including security and migration. It’s only small mercy that they’ve agreed on holding another meeting in 2022.