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Cohen pressing Israel’s positions on Iran in Brussels

The Israeli foreign minister is meeting with E.U. counterpart Josep Borrell.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen attends a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Jan. 25, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen attends a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Jan. 25, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen arrived in Brussels on Tuesday to meet with his E.U. counterpart Josep Borrell and other high-ranking officials.

The visit is focusing on shoring up European backing for “stopping the Iranian nuclear program and the Iranian terror threat,” according to Cohen’s office.

The top Israeli diplomat is also emphasizing Jerusalem’s support for E.U. humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority, so long as those funds are not redirected to terrorist groups or used to incite violence against the Jewish state.

In March, Cohen sharply criticized Borrell for equating Palestinian terrorist attacks with operations undertaken by the Israel Defense Forces.

The rebuke came after Borrell wrote in an article on the commentary site Project Syndicate that “violence on the part of Israeli settlers in the West Bank is increasingly threatening Palestinian lives and livelihoods—almost always with impunity. Moreover, Israeli military operations frequently cause civilian Palestinian deaths, often without effective accountability; illegal settlements are expanding on occupied land; and the delicate status quo concerning Holy Sites is eroding.”

Cohen met Tuesday with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas.

Last week, Cohen met in Madrid with his Spanish counterpart José Manuel Albares, with the Iranian threat topping the agenda.

“Europe and the entire world must face Iran with a united and aggressive front in order to prevent a nuclear Iran. The way to do this is by initiating economic and political sanctions together with a credible military threat. Spain will soon assume its role as president of the European Union, and in my talks I will ask that the Iranian issue have a greater weight in European discussions and decisions,” said Cohen ahead of the tête-à-tête.

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