France Denies it Urged EU to Impose Sanctions on Israel
France on Monday denied that it has urged the European Union to impose economic sanctions on Israel because of the Jewish state’s blockade on the Palestinian territories, a French foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by the Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) Monday.
Haaretz newspaper reported that France and Belgium were seeking to impose economic sanctions on Israel “because of human rights violations in the Palestinian territories.”
“This is absolutely not true,” said Bernard Valero, the foreign ministry’s deputy spokesman.
The Israeli newspaper quoted Israeli diplomatic source as saying that the two countries' request came in a letter that has been sent recently to all EU member countries.
"The governments of France and Belgium are advocating, among other sanctions, the cancellation of the association agreement signed between the EU and Israel in 1995 which includes trade accords and other cooperative arrangements," a source had told the paper.
The two countries are also seeking to exclude Israel from the sixth EU research and development program slated to begin in 2003.
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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