Denmark’s Foreign Minister, Martin Lidegaard, yesterday (Monday) told the Danish daily, the Jyllands-Posten, that if Israel doesn’t not make considerable concessions to Hamas in the present round of indirect talks in Cairo, that his country and the European Union should adopt a much tougher stance, including trade sanctions on the Jewish state, according to a report in the European Jewish Press.
“If we don’t see a new pattern of response from Israel’s side, then we will need to discuss the possibility of taking new steps, including changes to our trade relations with Israel,” Lidegaard said, adding “I hope that it will not go that far, but I think that EU policy is heading in that direction.”
Danish Trade Minister Mogens Jensen commented to the paper that it was too early for such sanctions and that the initiative would not provide international support for them at the moment. "I don’t think that it makes sense for Denmark to go it alone, because then it will have no effect," he explained.
When asked for a reaction to Lidegaard’s comments, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, responded by saying that the Danish Minister “is mistaken, and does not understand the situation in full. When he comes to visit in Israel, he will certainly be able to understand the reality of the situation and see that Israel is not responsible for the stalemate.”
Lidegaard is a member of the The Danish Social Liberal Party (Danish: Det Radikale Venstre, literally: "The Radical Left", occasionally translated to English as "Radical Liberal Party").