The European Union’s refusal to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations will have “severe ramifications” for Middle East stability and global security, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Brussels.
His comments came a day after Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said at a press conference with Liberman that there was “no consensus among the EU member states for putting Hezbollah on the terrorist list.”
Liberman, who said in an Israel Radio interview that there was substantial support inside the EU for the move, told Ashton that “everyone knows who and what the Hezbollah organization is, and all are aware of the criminal and terrorist activities it perpetrates.”
The decision to place Hezbollah on the terror blacklist needs agreement from all 27 EU countries, something Israel has been working at – so far unsuccessfully – since the mid 1990s.
According to a statement from his office, Liberman also told Ashton that previous peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors were not between the people, but between Israel and the rulers of those countries.
He said these agreements did not facilitate reconciliation between people or build a peace based on sturdy foundations. Future agreements, to work, need first to get the support of the public and opinion makers, he said.
Liberman’s meeting with Ashton followed the annual EU-Israel Association Council meeting.
The EU issued a statement about that meeting on Wednesday that, alongside a reiteration of the EU’s “fundamental commitment to Israel’s security,” included a litany of complaints against Israeli policy.
“The EU expresses deep concern about developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible, such as, inter alia, the marked acceleration of settlement construction, ongoing evictions of Palestinians and the demolition of their housing and infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, the worsening living conditions of the Palestinian population and serious limitations for the Palestinian Authority to promote the economic development of Palestinian communities, in particular in Area C,” the statement read.
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