The European Union’s head of foreign affairs warned on Monday that there is no chance of overcoming ISIS through military means alone. The deep underlying causes for the group’s emergence in Syria and Iraq must also be dealt with, said High Representative Federica Mogherini.
Speaking at the Institute for International Policy Studies in Rome, Mogherini said that the military response is “necessary”, but it is not the only option. “It is not possible to overcome ISIS until Iraq becomes a democratic state or Syria moves towards democratic transition and national reconciliation,” she said. “Some expect the Sunni-Shia conflict in the region to extend for 30 years… It is not a religious conflict, but a difference over authority and regional dominance.”
The EU official told an audience of former and current politicians that any solution must be regional. In diplomacy, she insisted, any solution has to benefit all sides. “Everyone must be a winner,” she explained, citing Iran’s potential nuclear deal as an example.