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      Livni: EU Doesn't Determine Borders

      "The future borders of Israel and the Palestinian state will be discussed in the negotiation room," Livni tells German FM.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 8/12/2013, 3:13 AM

      Livni and Westerwelle
      Livni and Westerwelle
      Flash 90

      The European Union is not the body to determine issues relating to Israel’s borders, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said on Sunday.

      Livni made the comments during a meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who met with Israeli officials on Sunday on a visit to support the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

      "This meeting comes after we relaunched the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and I know that Germany is deeply supportive of the need of direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians," Livni said ahead of the meeting, according to AFP.

      She also warned against making the "linkage between Israel, the EU and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict", referring to the new EU guidelines excluding Jewish entities located beyond the Green Line from financial cooperation accords with the bloc.

      "The future borders of Israel and the future borders of the Palestinian state will be discussed in the negotiations room between Israel and the Palestinians and not as an EU decision, as we saw in the guidelines," she stressed.

      "The EU should wait to see what's going to happen with the outcome of the negotiations," said Livni, according to AFP.

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu clarified last week that Israel will not sign any contracts with Europe so long as its boycott of Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem and even the Golan Heights - as per the new guidelines - continues.

      Westerwelle said he was bringing with him a simple "message of encouragement and support" of the US-sponsored direct talks. "We will play a constructive and supportive role," he said, according to AFP.

      As for the EU guidelines, he said that "with goodwill on all sides, pragmatic implementation should be possible."

      Ahead of a meeting later Sunday with President Shimon Peres, the German minister said, "There is no and there will be no policy change of partnership. We seek a sustainable partnership to continue the projects in research fields."

      While noting the guidelines were in the hands of the European Commission, Westerwelle said that "with goodwill and a pragmatic approach, we will overcome the present difficulties and come to solutions."

      Peres told Westerwelle later on Sunday that the European Union should put its proposed boycott of Israeli businesses in Judea and Samaria on hold in order to help the diplomatic process.

      On Monday, Westerwelle is to sit down with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Rami Hamdallah before returning to Berlin.

      The next round of peace talks is to take place on August 14 in Jerusalem attended by U.S. mediator Martin Indyk and is to be followed by a meeting in Jericho.