6 countries block EU resolution that would have condemned Trump plan, annexation
Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic among members said to have torpedoed statement, which required unanimity, leading EU foreign policy chief Borrell to issue sharp statement on his own
4 February 2020
The European Union foreign policy chief’s unusually strident warning Tuesday that an Israeli annexation in the West Bank won’t pass “unchallenged” reportedly came after he failed to convince Europe’s foreign ministers to issue a similar criticism as a unified bloc.
According to Hebrew media reports, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell tried to convince the 27 European foreign ministers who are members of the union’s Foreign Affairs Council to issue a shared resolution criticizing the peace plan proposed by the Trump administration last week, and warning against Israeli leaders’ declared intention to annex significant parts of the West Bank within weeks.
But Israel’s Foreign Ministry lobbied hard with European governments against the resolution, the reports said, arguing it was one-sided and encouraged Palestinians to avoid direct negotiations.
At least six European member states apparently agreed and decided to oppose the resolution. They included Italy, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, and at least two other unnamed nations, the reports said. That opposition killed the joint statement, as EU foreign policy declarations must have the agreement of all 27 member nations.