In the capitals of Europe, there is as yet only limited understanding of the new and emergent strategic realities of the Middle East. As a result, European countries are increasingly irrelevant or invisible in the diplomacy of the region.
The still dominant perspectives in Europe belong largely to the era now fading: the supposed centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Mideast stability, the desire to return to the Iran nuclear agreement, a more general preference for formal and multi-lateral agreements, while the region favours the tacit, the pragmatic and the bilateral.
As a result, European countries have played no part in the emergence and crystallization of the tacit alliance of pro-Western countries of which Israel and the UAE form a part. This alliance has emerged through bilateral connections, but with the quiet encouragement and tutelage of the US.
Europe played no part in the emergence of the tacit pro-Western alliance led by Israel and the UAE.
Similarly, the US policy of maximum pressure on Iran, strongly supported by pro-Western regional states, is opposed by key European countries. They favour a return to the JCPOA. In so doing, again, Europe will advance not its interests, but rather its irrelevance.
On the issue of Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean, France and Greece are playing a vital role. No united European stance has been forthcoming, however. Italy, one of the EU's other leading powers sits on the opposite side to France, remaining aligned with Turkey.
The fear of President Erdogan's use of Syrian migrants as a tool of intimidation apparently remains.
Jonathan Spyer is director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis and a Ginsburg/Milstein Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum.