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EU foreign policy chief cancels visit to Israel

High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Council Federica Mogherini holds a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not seen) at the European Council headquarters within the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium on 11 December, 2017 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency}
High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Council Federica Mogherini holds a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not seen) at the European Council headquarters within the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium on 11 December, 2017 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency}

European Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has cancelled an official visit to Israel, which was scheduled for Sunday, Israeli media reported Friday.

According to Israel’s Channel Two, Mogherini was scheduled to participate in an international conference organised by the Jewish-American Committee (a pro-Israeli non-governmental organisation) next Monday in Jerusalem.

“Mogherini cancelled her trip to Israel after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to meet her,” the channel said.

It said Mogherini had requested Netanyahu’s office to arrange an appointment with him, but the latter did not respond.

Channel Two quoted an Israeli political source as saying that Netanyahu had refused to meet Mogherini because of his “full agenda”.

The source said “Netanyahu in fact cancelled his meeting with the foreign minister of the European Union because of her very hostile position on Israel”.

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Mogherini had rejected the US move to transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and warned of consequences the embassy shifted.

On May 14, the US relocated its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, drawing condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world and further inflaming passions in the Palestinian territories.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusale, currently occupied by Israel, might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

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