Moving South and East
For some time, the German-led EU has had strategic interests in lands to its south and east, and Germany is currently working hard to secure those interests on both fronts.
South: Germany recently moved to strengthen its defense cooperation with Tunisia and Morocco. “The present desire of Berlin for a strengthened cooperation in these areas is in order to provide an armed (and completely independent of the U.S.) component of German foreign policy in North Africa” (www.german-foreign-policy.com, Nov. 10, 2003, emphasis ours).
This makes sense. These countries, besides offering rich natural resources, form a doorway into Africa and are strategically located on the Mediterranean coast. They have plenty to offer a rich European country seeking to gain a foothold in them.
East: Subtle but persistent steps have been taken to improve diplomatic relations between the EU and Iran, with year-long talks of an EU-Iran free-trade deal still in the works, as well as serious talk of deeper cooperation.
EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana plans to travel to Iran early in the new year to further these plans. It seems that, since U.S. President Bush labeled Iran part of the “axis of evil,” the EU can hardly do enough to strengthen its relations with the terrorist-sponsoring country.
EUobserver.com reported that EU foreign ministers had examined plans for the EU to “launch a major security initiative with Middle Eastern countries.” “[P]roposals are being considered to set up a security dialogue between the EU and countries to the ‘south and east of Jordan,’ perhaps including Iran” (Dec. 5, 2003). While the EU has for some time been involved with the Middle East peace process, this represents a new, dramatic, aggressive step to increase its power and influence in the region.
Germany’s geopolitical aims are also revealed in its response to Washington’s recent request for nato troops to help stabilize and secure Iraq. A German official stated that this was an “unreasonable demand” because, at present, there is “no indication” that the United States would be willing to share power in Iraq (bbc News, Dec. 10, 2003). In other words, Germany is saying it will not support efforts in Iraq unless it gains some regional influence.
The Prophet Daniel wrote of a political power from the north that would seek to extend its rule to the south and east in the form of a resurrection of the ancient Holy Roman Empire, dominated by Assyria—modern Germany. Read it in Daniel 8:9, and refer to “Europe Marches South” in our May 2000 issue (www.theTrumpet.com, under “Issue Archives”).
Watch for further EU, and particularly German, efforts to increase influence and power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region.