Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio) reports that the EU is discussing a new framework agreement with Israel that will replace the existing 2004 agreement. The new agreement will redefine the implementation of cooperation between Israel and the EU in a range of areas, such as industry, trade, energy, the environment, agriculture, economic questions, and on the political level as well.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs, will travel to Brussels to meet High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Frederica Mogherini. The trip is expected to take place by the middle of this year, and will be the first occasion on which an Israeli foreign minister has visited the EU headquarters since the 1990s.
Two weeks ago, after the furor over the EU decision to mark products originating from the West Bank and the conciliatory telephone conversation between Netanyahu and Mogherini, Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, "Israel and the EU have agreed to restore relations between us to normal. I think that this is a welcome step, although of course it does not mean that there will be no friction. But the very fact that the EU high representative for foreign affairs comes out against the BDS movement is a step in the right direction."
Nevertheless, the separate marking of products from Israeli settlements in the territories on which the EU decided will remain, and the EU's foreign ministers will not back down from it. Similarly, as with all its agreements with Israel, this agreement too, as far as the EU is concerned, will not apply beyond Israel's 1967 borders.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 28, 2016
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