‘’The only part of the statement that I do agree with is that we must now focus and cooperate in the fight against coronavirus,’’ said Spanish Member of the European Parliament Antonio Lopez-Isturiz, who chairs the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Israel, in a reaction to Thursday’s statement by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on the announcement earlier this year of an agreement to form a new government in Israel.
A new government has yet to be sworn in by the Knesset but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz signed a coalition agreement on Monday night.
In his statement, Borrell said: ‘’The European Union takes note of the political agreement that could pave the way for the formation of a Government in Israel. The European Union is willing to closely cooperate with the new Government on fighting the coronavirus. Technical cooperation is ongoing and will be strengthened on all aspects of the pandemic. The health of our citizens and addressing the economic consequences of the coronavirus are our shared paramount priority.’’
In the second part of the statement, the EU foreign chief added: ‘’The European Union’s position on the status of the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 remains unchanged. In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the European Union does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the occupied West Bank.’’
‘’The European Union reiterates that any annexation would constitute a serious violation of international law. The European Union will continue to closely monitor the situation and its broader implications, and will act accordingly,’’ the statement concluded.
‘’High Representative Borrell should spend some time convincing the Prime Minister of Spain to follow the example of Israel on the formation of a Government coalition between responsible political forces,’’ commented Antonio Lopez-Isturiz.
The Spanish MEP is also Secretary-General of the Europe People’s Party, the largest political group in the European Parliament.