Israel, aided by several European nations, on Friday thwarted plans for a European Union statement condemning the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Channel 10 news reported, timesofisrael.com reports.
European diplomats and Israeli officials said the statement, initiated by France, sought to present a unified European front against Washington’s move.
But objections by Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania helped Jerusalem stop the statement.
According to the report, the draft resolution stated that Jerusalem should be the capital of two states – Israel and Palestine; that the status of Jerusalem should only be resolved as part of peace negotiations; and that EU nations will not follow the US in moving their missions to the holy city.
The Czech Republic’s president has voiced support for moving the country’s embassy to Jerusalem, though the move is opposed by the prime minister. Romania’s prime minister has also spoken in favour of such a relocation, opposed by that country’s president, the same source informs.
On Wednesday Hadashot TV news reported that European diplomats will skip a Foreign Ministry event next week, marking the opening of the American embassy which will operate at the site of a US consulate facility in the capital.
Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inviting the entire foreign diplomatic corps to Sunday’s event, many European envoys, including those from the United Kingdom, France and Germany, will boycott the ceremony, the report said.
“It is a little strange to invite us to celebrate an event that we opposed and condemned. The Americans were more clever and knew in advance not to invite us to save themselves from embarrassment,” the network quoted a diplomatic source as saying.
The Foreign Ministry later said it was not aware of any decision to skip the event.
“At the moment 30 of 86 ambassadors have responded positively [to the invitation]. A large number of ambassadors have yet to respond. We hope all the ambassadors will arrive,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said.
Later on Saturday, Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) confirmed it had blocked the European Union statement condemning the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
”Considering the extremely complicated regional context and following a complex analysis of the text that the European External Action Service had submitted for approval to the member states, MAE has considered that the text lacks balance and it focuses on only one element, respectively on the relocation of the European diplomatic missions from Israel to Jerusalem.
We also mention that similar stances have been taken by other EU member states, such as Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Following the EEAS analysis, it has been agreed to deliver a statement in the name of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini,” reads MAE press release, as Digi24 reported.
PA condemns blocking of EU statement against US embassy move
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Saturday strongly condemning the governments of Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic for blocking the release of a statement by the European Union (EU) on the US move to relocate embassy to Jerusalem on May 14.
The Palestinian side said that the position of these three states contradicts the EU’s policy and its previous stances towards Jerusalem, naming the actions of the three states a “clear breach of international law, UN resolutions, the Geneva Conventions and human rights principles,” that “encourage the Israeli occupation authority to continue violating international law.”