The European Union’s refusal to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist
organizations will have “severe ramifications” for Middle East stability and
global security, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told EU foreign policy chief
Catherine Ashton on Wednesday in Brussels.
His comments came a day after
Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country currently holds
the EU’s rotating presidency, said at a press conference with Liberman that
there was “no consensus among the EU member states for putting Hezbollah on the
Liberman, who said in an Israel Radio interview
Wednesday that there was substantial support inside the EU for the move, told
Ashton that “everyone knows who and what the Hezbollah organization is, and all
are aware of the criminal and terrorist activities it perpetrates.”
decision to place Hezbollah on the terror blacklist needs agreement from all 27
EU countries, something Israel has been working at – so far unsuccessfully –
since the mid 1990s.
According to a statement from his office, Liberman
also told Ashton that previous peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors
were not between the people, but between Israel and the rulers of those
He said these agreements did not facilitate reconciliation
between people or build a peace based on sturdy foundations. Future
agreements, to work, need first to get the support of the public and opinion
makers, he said.
Liberman’s meeting with Ashton followed Tuesday’s annual
EU-Israel Association Council meeting.
The EU issued a statement about
that meeting on Wednesday that, alongside a reiteration of the EU’s “fundamental
commitment to Israel’s security,” included a litany of complaints against
“The EU expresses deep concern about developments on the
ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible, such as, inter
alia, the marked acceleration of settlement construction, ongoing evictions of
Palestinians and the demolition of their housing and infrastructure in the
occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, the worsening living
conditions of the Palestinian population and serious limitations for the
Palestinian Authority to promote the economic development of Palestinian
communities, in particular in Area C,” the statement read.
It also said
the EU was concerned about reports of a possible resumption of construction of
the security barrier, “because the EU considers that the separation barrier
where built on occupied land is illegal under international law, constitutes an
obstacle to peace and threatens to make a two-state solution
The statement also expressed “deep concern” about settler
extremism; called for the immediate opening of crossings for aid, commercial
goods and people to and from Gaza; wished for “intra-Palestinian
reconciliation”; and encouraged Israel to “increase efforts to address the
economic and social situation of the Arab minority.”
spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was “disappointing to observe that the EU,
instead of publishing a review that summarizes the discussion, chose to publish
an agglutination of complaints and grievances.”
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