The EU argues that Mogherini’s visit to Jerusalem was secondary to her main trip to Jordan.
Federica Mogherini, EU Foreign Policy Chief. Photo Credit: Federica Mogherini.
It was reported on Friday that the cancellation of the European Union Foreign Policy Chief’s scheduled visit to Israel next week is a result of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction to a request to meet with him.
Federica Mogherini, who was scheduled to attend a conference in Jerusalem on Monday, reportedly asked the prime minister to meet with her and was met with a cold shoulder. Netanyahu’s office cited the prime minister’s tight schedule as the reasoning for not granting Mogherini’s request.
A statement explaining Mogherini decision, issued on Friday, read: “The HRVP is traveling this weekend to the Middle East, more precisely to Jordan. We had looked into the possibility of expanding this visit to Jerusalem, where she was invited to speak at the American Jewish Committee. For agenda reasons, it turned out that this was not possible. We believe that it is important to talk, because there are many important issues in the region to discuss, including Iran. The HRVP is looking forward to returning to the region in the near future.”
Referring to tensions brought on following the dispute over the US embassy’s move to Jerusalem, a top Israeli official argued that Mogherini’s stance towards Israel was very “hostile.”
Netanyahu’s refusal to meet with the EU foreign policy chief is viewed as the Israeli government’s way of making it clear that the European Union’s unsupportive stand against the embassy move will not be taken lightly.
The American Jewish Community (AJC), set to be addressed by Mogherini on Monday, said her office had given word to them of her cancellation and expressed regret for her decision.
Reiterating Netanyahu’s reasoning, the European Union added that Mogherini’s canceled visit was also a result of her “tight schedule.”