The ALDE group is demanding clarification on the EU’s position on Bahrain and the wider region following the conclusions of Monday’s Foreign Affairs Ministers calling “on demonstrators to refrain from deliberately intimidating actions” and similar remarks by Robert Cooper, Baroness Ashton’s adviser on the Middle East in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament yesterday in which he claimed that the authorities were right to restore calm and order in Bahrain.

Guy Verhofstadt ALDE Leader announced, “What is blatantly obvious is that there is a lack of strategy from the European Union vis-à-vis the Arab revolutions. We were in denial in the beginning and uncoordinated later on. To add insult to injury EU Foreign Affairs Ministers themselves suggested that demonstrators refrain from violence. Baroness Ashton, I am calling on you to come up with a clear strategy next week at the latest for each country – Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Syria.”

Edward McMillan-Scott (Lib Dem, UK), EP Vice-President responsible for Democracy and Human Rights, said:

“The EU is sending completely the wrong signal to people involved in a historic protest against the tyrants of the wider Middle East. Europe’s links with these regimes were unprincipled in the past. Now is the time to address the concerns of the democratic rulers of the future.

Robert Cooper is an experienced diplomat. He should know better and he should immediately retract h