Belgian Foreign Minister meets the Israeli Prime Minister
Monday, 09 May 2016
Didier Reynders discussed bilateral relations with Israel. At the meeting this morning (9 May), the Belgian foreign minister thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Israel’s offer of assistance and cooperation following the Brussels terrorist attack. They also discussed the threat posed by radical Islam to the region and to Europe.
Regarding the French initiative of an international conference to relaunch the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Netanyahu emphasized that such initiatives would allow the Palestinians to avoid direct negotiations, thereby making peace more remote.
Belgium is backing the French idea of an international conference. A preparatory meeting with foreign ministers will take place in Paris on 30 May and will be followed by a conference later in Summer.
It is not clear yet whether Israel will attend the full conference. EU sources told The Brussels Times that Israel’s criticism of the French initiative should not necessarily be interpreted as a refusal to attend the conference.
During his visit in the region, Reynders proposed to organize an economic dialogue in Brussels between Israel and Palestine. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the Belgian proposal.
Reynders arrived also in the Gaza Strip where he called on Israel, on behalf of the international community, to facilitate the provision of materials needed for the reconstruction of the area after the war in 2014.