EU to ensure settlement guidelines will not harm ties with Israel, says Ashton
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton said on Saturday that the EU will make sure the new settlement guidelines do not harm relations with Israel.
Speaking in Vilnius after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Ashton said that the guidelines - which state that any private Israeli entity that wants to receive funding from the EU must demonstrate that it has no links to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, or the Golan Heights – will be implemented “sensitively, and we of course want to continue to have a strong relationship with Israel.”
Ashton’s comments came after Kerry met in Vilnius with the EU’s 28 foreign ministers, urging them to postpone the new guidelines.
A senior U.S. official said Kerry asked the foreign ministers to support ongoing Israeli-Palestinian talks and postpone the implementation of the guidelines so as not to hinder the negotiations. The official said that the foreign ministers showed “willingness and openness to consider Kerry’s request.”