Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi greeting his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides at Ben Gurion Airport
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi greeting his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides at Ben Gurion Airport
Photo: Foreign Ministry
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi greeting his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides at Ben Gurion Airport

Israel courts Cypriot help on EU opposition to annexation

Foreign Minister Ashkenazi meets counterpart from Nicosia at Ben Gurion Airport, says Israel committed to proceeding ‘in a responsible and coordinated manner’

AFP |
Published: 06.23.20 , 21:42
The foreign ministers of Israel and Cyprus met Tuesday as Jerusalem seeks to defuse European opposition to its plan to annex parts of the West Bank.
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  • Gabi Ashkenazi met his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides at Ben Gurion Airport after plans for a larger delegation led by President Nicos Anastasiades were revised over coronavirus concerns.
    Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi greeting his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides at Ben Gurion Airport Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi greeting his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides at Ben Gurion Airport
    Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi greeting his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides at Ben Gurion Airport
    (Photo: Foreign Ministry)
    "Ashkenazi asked Christodoulides for Cyprus to act as a moderating voice in discourse with European countries," a Foreign Ministry statement said.
    U.S. President Donald Trump in January unveiled a controversial plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace, giving Israel a green light to annex West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley.
    Israel has said it intends to start implementing the plan from next month, triggering widespread concern, particularly in the European Union.
    בנימין נתניהו עם ראש ממשלת יוון ונשיא קפריסין חתימה הסכם צינור גז ב אתונהבנימין נתניהו עם ראש ממשלת יוון ונשיא קפריסין חתימה הסכם צינור גז ב אתונה
    Prime Minister Netanyahu and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades
    (Photo: EPA)
    The Palestinians have rejected the plan and are trying to rally international opposition to it.
    At Tuesday's meeting, the statement said, Ashkenazi told Christodoulides that his country was committed to proceeding "in a responsible and coordinated manner with the various parties in the region."
    Jerusalem, he added, would do so "while maintaining Israel's strategic and security interests based on President Trump's peace plan".
    France, Germany, Belgium and Estonia last month urged Israel not to make "any unilateral decision that would lead to the annexation of any occupied Palestinian territory".
    The European Parliament in Brussels The European Parliament in Brussels
    The European Parliament in Brussels
    (Photo: TPS)
    But EU states have not taken a united stand against the plan.
    Israeli diplomats are working to shore up support in the 27-member union.
    Israel last week welcomed a favorable European parliament vote on an aviation treaty and the overturning of a motion to delay ratification of the accord in protest at the proposed annexation.
    It said that had been "made possible by ongoing and intensive diplomatic work" by Israeli ambassadors in Europe.

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