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Newsline: Top EU diplomat delaying key Israel meeting

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell held up a key forum between Israel and the EU because of the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May, a senior European official told The Times of Israel. The Association Council is a meeting that is meant to occur annually between Israel and the EU to cover matters of mutual concern. The last time the two sides met was in 2012, and, as foreign minister, Yair Lapid made it a goal to reconvene the forum. The 27 EU foreign ministers managed to agree on a draft of a joint statement for an Association Council with Israel, a significant hurdle to overcome before convening the forum. “We got it,” said the official. “That was a miracle.” The final step was to get the text on the agenda of the European Council, the body that sets the political direction of the European Union. “That depends on Josep Borrell,” recounted the official. (https://www.timesofisrael.com/top-eu-diplomat-delaying-key-israel-meeting-over-abu-akleh-killing-official/) Borrell had been reluctant to advance an Association Council with Israel, but came around because of pressure from EU member states. Borrell’s spokesperson’s office did not provide a response when asked about the matter. Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

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