Israeli officials snubbed the European Union’s Middle East peace envoy during his recent visit to the region, turning down all of his requests to meet with them, the Walla news site reports.
Quoting unnamed Israeli officials, the report says the decision to blackball Sven Koopmans was over what Israel saw as EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell’s lack of support during the recent fighting against the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group.
Two weeks ago, Koopmans updated Israel’s ambassador to the EU, Ronnie Lashno-Yaar, that he wanted to visit Israel and meet with Israeli officials, according to the news site. While Lashno-Yaar backed the idea, a Foreign Ministry official had reservations about the timing, and she reportedly told Koopmans to plan his trip for a later date.
Koopmans, however, did not do so, and the Foreign Ministry decided no Israeli officials would meet with him after learning of his trip, with all his requests for meetings rejected, the report says.
EU officials quoted by the news site rejected the Israeli criticism of Borrell.
“Koopmans received a mandate from the 27 foreign ministers of all [EU] member states to serve as their joint envoy and to visit the area, and he hopes to hold conversations with Israeli government representatives,” the EU officials say.