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EU-Israel council to resume after a decade

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, on June 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, on June 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

The European Union Foreign Affairs Council decides to resume the Association Council meetings with Israel, announces EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

The position of the European Union “has not changed with respect to the Middle East peace process,” says Borrell in a press conference after the 27 EU foreign ministers meet. “We continue with the same council conclusion of 2016 supporting the two-state solution.”

“We know that situation on the ground in the Palestinian Territories is deteriorating, and I think that the ministers agreed that this Association Council would be a good occasion to engage with Israel about these issues,” he says.

The date will be agreed upon by the EU and Israel. The Association Council is a meeting that is meant to occur annually between Israel and the EU to cover matters of mutual concern.

The last time the two sides met was in 2012, and, as foreign minister, Yair Lapid made it a goal to reconvene the forum.

A senior European official told The Times of Israel recently that EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell held up the forum between Israel and the EU because of the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May.

Israel signed an Association Agreement that defined its relationship with the EU in 1995 and ratified it in 2000. Israel canceled the Council in 2013, when the EU angered Israel by issuing new regulations according to which no Israeli body that operates or has links beyond the Green Line can receive EU funding or have any cooperation with the EU.

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