Israel Cancels Meetings With EU Over Decision to Label Settlement Goods

Senior Foreign Ministry officials tell EU's ambassador to Israel that cancellations include some strategic dialogues and meetings on human rights and international organizations.

Reuters

Israel informed the European Union on Wednesday that it had canceled a number of consultations scheduled over the coming weeks between the two sides, officials in Jerusalem said.

Senior officials in the Foreign Ministry told EU ambassador in Israel Lars Faarborg-Andersen, who was summoned to the ministry to be reprimanded, that the decision was Israel's response to the EU's decision Wednesday to adopt guidelines on labeling products made in West Bank settlements, the officials said. The Israeli ambassador to the EU conveyed a similar message to senior EU officials at a meeting in EU headquarters in Brussels.

Senior Foreign Ministry officials Alon Ushpiz and Aviv Shir-On, who met the EU ambassador Wednesday, protested the EU's decision to start labeling products from the settlements and said it was an example for the EU's double standard in dealing with Israel.

The officials told Faarborg-Andersen that Israel would suspend some of the strategic dialogues it was conducting with the organization and would cancel a meeting on human rights and a meeting on international organizations that were slated to take place in the next few weeks.

Foreign Ministry officials also said that at this stage no further date would be set for another meeting with the EU dealing mainly with advancing Projects in C area of the West Bank. The first and only meeting on this issue took place in September and no further meeting had been scheduled.