The Middle East has been on the global agenda for much of the post-war period but this analysis focuses upon the role played by European Foreign and Security Policy and the contribution made by The Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland. 1 It is a conflict that engaged significant material and political interests and which posed an early challenge to Europe's emerging political identity. That identity grew up with this conflict and the evolution of European Foreign and Security Policy is clearly visible through it, having gone through several distinct phases. It opens with efforts to place the Middle East on the EPC agenda and the tentative evolution of a defined common policy. Wide initial policy differences are gradually placed within a single, albeit loosely interpreted, collective policy framework. The second phase is the clear and explicit delineation of that common policy and the attempt of the member states to give it substance. Collective efforts in this regard highlight outstanding substantive differences and the limitations to action. The third phase witnesses something of a depreciation in the currency of that common policy during which the member states are reduced to restating established policy lines and engaging in a reactive policy of condemnation. The final phase sees the new Union taking on a clear supporting role to an emerging peace process that engaged significant economic resources.