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Israel hopes to reengage with UNHRC following 2012 break

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(JTA) — Israel has moved to resume ties with the United Nations Human Rights Council a year after Jerusalem said it would no longer cooperate with the U.N. body.

“I have been instructed to write to you and, in response to your latest letter of 14 May 2013, re-affirm my intention to continue our close and fruitful dialogue,” Eviatar Manor, Israel’s ambassador to U.N. bodies in Geneva, said in a letter last month to the council and quoted Friday by the Jerusalem Post.

“Moreover, I wish to cooperate with you and pursue a diplomatic engagement with a view to positively resolve all outstanding issues in Israel’s complex relationship with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms,” Manor reportedly wrote.

Israel announced in March 2012 that it would no longer have any contact with council officials to protest what it called “biased treatment.”

“Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has instructed Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations institutions in Geneva, Roni Lesho Yaar, to no longer appear before the council or reply to its requests to received material and coordinate visits in Israel,” an unnamed senior foreign ministry official was quoted as telling Israel’s Channel 2 television channel in March last year.

The official added that there “had been some reservations” during an internal discussion at the ministry in Jerusalem, “but the minister decided to sever ties.”

The Obama administration also describes the council as heavily biased against Israel, but has preferred engagement with the body as a means of moderating it.

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