Sunday, September 12, 2010

Israel rejects visit by European Union ministers

"Israel has refused to receive a delegation of five senior European foreign ministers who had asked to come to the country this coming Thursday for talks in both Jerusalem and Ramallah. A senior official in Jerusalem said the official reason Israel declined the request was scheduling problems, but the real reason was a desire to avoid heavy European pressure on Israel to extend the settlement construction freeze beyond the end of this month...

Kouchner and Moratinos recruited their counterparts from Britain, Germany and Italy to join a delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Authority in an effort to advance the peace process. The delegation would have followed by one day Wednesday's planned visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A senior official in Jerusalem said Israel had learned that the first subject the EU foreign ministers wished to raise with Israel was an extension of the settlement construction freeze, and as a result, following deliberations at the Foreign Ministry, it was decided to decline the request for the visit to Jerusalem. The official reason for the negative Israeli response was that the visit would be too close to Yom Kippur, which begins Friday evening.

The five EU foreign ministers had initially intended to visit at the beginning of the month at the invitation of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The major focus of the talks was to have been the Gaza Strip, but the visit was deferred due to the Washington summit. The senior Israeli official said now the EU ministers are not interested in discussing Gaza and, in his words, "only want to come to talk about the settlement freeze and the peace process." LINK


Anonymous said...

fyi. With regard to your previous blog on Mr. Henry Kissinger, please note the following from Israel Today, dated 9/13/10:

"Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Henry Kissinger as the latter arrives in Jerusalem to attend Shimon Peres' gathering of world leaders dubbed Facing Tomorrow."

björn (farmer) said...

thanks ano, great input!! farmer