TEL AVIV (Mar. 11)
The European Community has notified Israel that all E.C. sanctions against the Jewish state will be rescinded before the next meeting of the community’s foreign ministers in April, according to a report Friday in the daily newspaper Ma’ariv.
The announcement reportedly came during the course of a three-hour meeting last week between Israeli representatives and the European Commission, the E.C.’s executive body. The two sides hold annual discussions.
There was no immediate confirmation of the news from Brussels, where the E.C. is based.
The European Parliament voted Jan. 17 to recommend punitive measures against Israel because of its alleged contempt for human rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The parliament, which convenes in the French city of Strasbourg, is the E.C. legislative body.
The European Commission followed suit by postponing the signing of an agreement on energy cooperation with Israel and canceling scheduled talks on scientific cooperation with Israel.
Avi Primor, Israel’s ambassador to the E.C. in Brussels, who headed the Israeli delegation at last week’s talks, reportedly spoke out against “mixing political problems and practical relations.”
In response, the Irish chairman of the commission stated that all sanctions against Israel will be rescinded by April 2, when Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Arens is scheduled to address the E.C. Council of Ministers.