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Netanyahu seeks Balkan states’ help against the EU decision to distinguish settlements and Israel

January 19, 2016 at 10:23 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to convince the countries of Eastern Europe and the Balkans to oppose a decision expected to be taken by the European Union’s foreign ministers on Monday distinguishing between Israel and the settlements.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Monday quoted senior government officials as saying Netanyahu spoke to officials in Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, asking them to oppose the current version of the draft resolution, saying the text was unbalanced and biased against Israel.

According to Haartez, Netanyahu is critical of “the ostensibly anti-Israel bureaucrats in Brussels”.

Netanyahu focused his efforts, according to the paper, on these countries, not only because their pro-Israel orientation is greater, but because their foreign ministers were set to hold a separate meeting before the other meeting takes place.

The European Union foreign ministers discussed on Monday a draft law making a distinction between Israel and the 1967-occupied Palestinian territories.

The European Union passed a bill in 2015 to label Israeli goods produced in settlements and sold in EU markets.

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