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Presentation and competencies

The Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries was set up in the wake of the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979. Between 1994 and 2004, the Delegation was also responsible for relations with the Gulf states. Since the 2004 elections, the Delegation’s remit has been limited to the four countries in the Mashreq region: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
 
Over recent years, the situation in the Middle East has been a much-discussed subject in meetings with representatives from the countries in the region, with a number of regional priority issues: the follow-up to the Annapolis Conference on re-launching the peace process between Israel and Palestine, the stabilisation of Iraq, the issue of Iraqi refugees and displaced persons, the crisis in Lebanon, press freedom and human rights in Arab countries and perspectives for a greater role for the EU and Jordan in promoting stabilisation. Two observation committees were set up: the first to monitor parliamentary elections in Lebanon in 2005 and again in 2009 and the second to monitor the Egyptian presidential election in November 2005.
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