JERUSALEM - Israel and the European Union will drift apart if they cannot compromise on new EU guidelines covering settlements beyond the Green Line that could damage research and trade ties, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin told Reuters.
The two sides must overcome the dispute - focused on territory that Palestinians want for a state - before the end of November, when a multi-million dollar EU research program called Horizon 2020 is due to be finalized.
If there is no deal, Israel risks missing out on generous funding for its scientists. By the same token, Europe will lose Israeli-know how, Elkin said.
"If we fail to resolve this problem, the future direction will be a kind of separation between Israel and the European Union," Elkin told Reuters in an interview.