The Foreign Ministry slams the European Union’s foreign minister over his statement on the agreement between Likud and Blue and White to form a government in which he reiterated the EU’s opposition to Israeli annexation of areas in the West Bank. He also said the bloc was open to working closely with Israel to combat the coronavirus.
“It’s unfortunate that Josep Borrell, who pretends to be responsible for the foreign relations of the European Union, chooses in this manner to welcome a new government over a central partner to the EU and prefers to see relations between Israel and the EU through the prisma of the pandemic and the ‘status of the territories,'” the ministry says in a statement.
The ministry also questions Borrell’s decision to issue the statement, saying he did so only after failing to gain backing for it from all EU states.
“We wonder which states the honorable gentleman is choosing to represent,” the ministry says.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz thanks EU states that refused to back Borrell’s statement, but doesn’t name them.
“I thank our friends in Europe who oppose Borrell’s announcement and prevented the adoption of the text in the EU’s name. These states recognize the value of relations with Israel and we’ll continue to advance relations between Israel and Europe together with them,” he says.
A diplomatic source says the EU did not hold a vote on approving the text and the meeting dealt more with timing than substance.
— with Raphael Ahren