EU ‘Foreign Minister’ Meets Top Israeli Officials
The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Italian politician Federica Mogherini, concluded her high profile meetings with top Israeli officials on Thursday.
Mogherini flew to the country less than a week after the formation of Israel’s new government. During her two day visit, she met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotoveley, Minister of the Interior Silvan Shalom, and leader of the opposition Isaac Herzog.
The EU’s top diplomat discussed both bilateral relations between Israel and the EU, along with the prospects for renewed peace talks. To this end, Mogherini also met with Palestinian leaders, including Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas.
In conversation with Tazpit News Agency, Wilhelm T. Roth, CEO of the Israel-Europe Freedom Center, said “despite the fact that Mogherini isn’t known to be very pro-Israel in her attitude, her visit also comes with a new appointment to the EU mission in Israel”
“Appointing Fernando Gentilini, who is known to be supportive of Israel, as the special representative to the peace process, seems like a favorable signal to the Israeli government and a counterbalance to the current pro-Palestinian vibe.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu used the opportunity of a joint press conference to publicly reiterate his support for a negotiated settlement to the conflict, a stance the High Representative responded positively to.
In her meeting with Rivlin on Thursday, the President remarked, “Europe has an important role to play in helping bring an end to the conflict.”
Mogherini replied positively, saying, “I greatly appreciate your vision of living together, and hope that our friends across the world will be able to help in the mission of ending the conflict, while ensuring Israel’s security.”