Luxembourg FM: EU planning to warn Israel against sovereignty

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister: EU not discussing sanctions on Israel but planning to warn that annexation would violate international law.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Jean Asselborn
Jean Asselborn

EU countries are planning to issue Israel a warning not to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn told AFP on Saturday.

Asselborn told the news agency he had discussed a declaration with his EU counterparts during video talks on Friday.

"A very large number of countries on Friday supported a draft text that we drew up with my Irish counterpart Simon Coveney in which we warn against an annexation that would be a violation of international law," the minister said.

He added that Austria and Hungary had refused to sign the declaration, so it could not be issued in the name of all 27 EU states.

"But the fact that a very large number of countries support this line is a success," Asselborn told AFP.

The EU is alarmed by the incoming Israeli unity government's plans to apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, but there is no agreement among EU countries over what punitive action to take should Israel press ahead with the move.

Asselborn stated in Saturday’s interview, "We are not talking about sanctions. We're talking about prevention. This text is not aggressive."

The four-point statement welcomes the new government and recalls the EU's close ties with Israel, but warns annexation would violate international law.

"The European Union wants to cooperate with neighboring states and countries in the region and reiterates its support for a negotiated two-state solution for a viable peace perspective between Israelis and Palestinians," Asselborn told AFP.

"There is no alternative to this solution. No-one has presented another viable solution," he stated.

"If we don't succeed in convincing Israel to give up its project, the hardest part will be ahead of us," warned Asselborn.

Earlier on Saturday, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, told reporters during a video conference that the EU would do whatever possible to pressure Israel against carrying out its plan.

"We must work to discourage any possible initiative towards annexation. This will require reaching out, by all of us, to Israel, US, Palestinians and Arab partners, using all channels that the EU and the Member States have," he said.

After Friday's talks, Borrell had said he would make a concerted diplomatic push to try to steer Israel away from sovereignty, though he admitted there were deep divisions among the EU states.

The coalition agreement between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz states that the government could apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria this coming July.

Borrell recently warned Israel against applying sovereignty over portions of Judea and Samaria.

“The European Union reiterates that any annexation would constitute a serious violation of international law. The European Union will continue to closely monitor the situation and its broader implications, and will act accordingly,” he said.