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Tzipi Livni criticizes new EU directives on settlements

Top negotiator tells German FM regulations won’t help bring peace, and borders will be decided through talks with Palestinians

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Tzipi Livni holds a joint press conference with Guido Westerwelle at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on August 11, 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Tzipi Livni holds a joint press conference with Guido Westerwelle at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on August 11, 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state will be determined by the two sides, and not by the European Union, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday in Jerusalem.

At a press conference following a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Livni said that, sometimes, Israel’s relations with the EU are affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict .

“The future borders between Israel and Palestine will be decided through negotiations and not by EU guidelines,” Livni, who heads Israel’s delegation to the newly restarted peace talks, declared.

Livni said the guidelines and regulations aimed at pressuring Israel, like the ones released last month banning European cooperation with Israeli bodies that operate beyond the Green Line, were not helpful.

“The EU must wait to see the results of the talks,” she said, adding that she was hopeful the issue of borders would be addressed.

Westerwelle said his country supports the talks “and believe[s] it’s an interest of [both] sides.” Germany, he said, will play a role in the negotiations.

Addressing the diplomatic crisis between Israel and the EU following the release of the new regulations, Westerwelle said that with “goodwill from both sides the decision can be implemented moderately,” and warned against steps that would hurt the ongoing negotiations.

The new directives, to take effect at the start of 2014, requires the EU and its members to cease any joint activity with or funding of Israeli entities working in the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

The measures also require any future agreements between Israel and the EU to include a clause in which Israel accepts the European Union’s position that all territory over the Green Line does not belong to Israel — a requirement that is anathema to Israel.

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