Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 - 14 of Sivan, 5780

Israel criticizes EU’s ‘megaphone diplomacy’

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

In his congratulations statement to the new Israeli government, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said: ”We strongly urge Israel to refrain from any unilateral decision that would lead to the annexation of any occupied Palestinian territory and would be, as such, contrary to International Law.’’

“Israel and the EU share history, values, interests, opportunities and both face threats. It is regrettable that once again, the security of Israel, a key partner of the EU, and the threats that Israel face, were not mentioned at all and were not given the centrality that they should be in such a message,” he said.

“I look forward to continuing a meaningful dialogue with our allies in Europe to develop our relations and cooperate on the many international challenges,’’ said Gabi Ashkenazi, the new Israeli Foreign Minister, as he took his office on Monday.

‘’Israel and Europe are important partners and I am sure that the relations we share will be fruitful and beneficial for both sides,’’ he said at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.

The same day, the EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell issued a statement in his name congratulating the new Israeli government but also warning it against a unliateral annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), which was not received well in Jerusalem.

The statement reads: ‘’The European Union congratulates the new government in Israel. Israel is a key partner for the European Union. We look forward to continuing working with the Israeli government in a constructive and comprehensive way, in the spirit of the longstanding friendship that binds us to Israel, in order to develop our relationship in all areas, in particular in matters such as COVID-19, education, research and development and any other area of mutual interest.’’

Then Borrell’s statement continued with a a reference to the Middle East Peace Process in which he mentioned the issue of annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).  ‘’We note with grave concern the provision – to be submitted for approval by the Israeli cabinet – on the annexation of parts of occupied Palestinian territories, as stated by the Prime Minister when presenting his government to the Knesset on 17 May and as envisaged in the coalition agreement signed earlier.’’

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell: ‘’We note with grave concern the provision – to be submitted for approval by the Israeli cabinet – on the annexation of parts of occupied Palestinian territories, as stated by the Prime Minister when presenting his government to the Knesset on 17 May and as envisaged in the coalition agreement signed earlier.’’

‘’We strongly urge Israel to refrain from any unilateral decision that would lead to the annexation of any occupied Palestinian territory and would be, as such, contrary to International Law,’’ Borrell’s statement, which reportedly was not okayed by all member states, added.

The statement stresses that ‘’international law is a fundamental pillar of the international rules-based order. In this respect, the EU and its Member States recall that they will not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders unless agreed by Israelis and Palestinians. The two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital for both States, is the only way to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the region.’’

The issue of annexation was the main topic discussed last Friday at a video conference of the 27 EU Foreign Ministers which reportedly showed a split between member states eager to already take measures against any annexation plan by Israel and those who rather advocate a dialogue and enhanced relations with the new Israeli government.

On Tuesday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry issued his statement on Tuesday criticized  what it called the European Union’s “megaphone diplomacy.’’

“I look forward to continuing a meaningful dialogue with our allies in Europe to develop our relations and cooperate on the many international challenges,’’ said Gabi Ashkenazi, the new Israeli Foreign Minister, as he took his office on Monday.
Picture: MFA

“The Israeli Foreign Ministry would like to thank the EU for their message congratulating Israel on the swearing-in of a new government,” the ministry’s spokesperson Lior Haiat said.

“Israel and the EU share history, values, interests, opportunities and both face threats. It is regrettable that once again, the security of Israel, a key partner of the EU, and the threats that Israel face, were not mentioned at all and were not given the centrality that they should be in such a message,” he said.

“This ‘megaphone diplomacy’ is not a substitute for intimate diplomatic dialogue and will not advance the role the EU is seeking to fulfill,” the spokesperson added.

Last Friday, Josep Borrell expressed the hope that ‘’my phone call will be one of the first the new Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel will get.’’

As of Wednesday, the two didn’t speak yet…

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply