Emmanouil Fragkos, a Greek politician representing the far-right Greek Solution party, has emerged as a significant figure in the European Parliament due to his controversial stance on Saudi Arabia. Fragkos’s positions and activities related to the Kingdom have sparked debates and discussions in the EU political landscape.
In 2021, Fragkos made headlines when he voted against a resolution that aimed to condemn the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. Despite the resolution receiving majority support from MEPs, Fragkos was one of the 11 MEPs who vehemently opposed it. This move raised eyebrows and cast a spotlight on his pro-Saudi stance within the European Parliament.
Beyond his voting record, Fragkos has consistently voiced his disapproval of the European Union’s arms embargo on Saudi Arabia. This embargo, imposed in 2019 in response to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was designed as a punitive measure. Fragkos, however, has argued that the embargo is counterproductive and detrimental to the interests of the European Union. His outspoken criticism of this policy has positioned him as a prominent advocate for stronger EU-Saudi relations.
In 2022, Fragkos took his pro-Saudi sentiments a step further by meeting with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the European Union. This meeting, held in Brussels, was not a solo endeavor. He was accompanied by fellow MEPs from the European People’s Party (EPP), the political party to which Fragkos belongs. The discussions centered on exploring avenues to bolster ties between the European Union and Saudi Arabia, signaling Fragkos’s active involvement in shaping EU foreign relations.
Fragkos’s affinity for Saudi Arabia extends beyond diplomatic engagements. He has made several visits to the Kingdom, underlining his commitment to fostering stronger connections between the EU and Saudi Arabia. In 2021, he traveled to Saudi Arabia as part of a delegation of MEPs from the EPP. This trend continued in 2022, with Fragkos participating in a delegation from the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs during his visit to the Kingdom.
It’s important to note that Fragkos’s engagement with Saudi Arabia is not unilaterally pro-Saudi. He has, at times, raised concerns about the country’s human rights record, indicating a nuanced perspective on the Kingdom. However, his overall track record reflects a disposition of support for enhanced relations between the European Union and Saudi Arabia, making him a key figure in the ongoing discourse surrounding this geopolitical relationship.