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Was the EU Commissioner’s Surprise Meeting with Israeli PM a Diplomatic Misstep?

Daniel Kim Views  

The meeting between EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant sparked controversy. Critics argue his actions as inappropriate, contrasting with the EU’s recent tough messages towards Israel.

On the 29th, Varhelyi announced on X that “it was an honor to meet with Netanyahu to discuss bilateral issues, the war with Hamas, humanitarian aid for Gaza residents, and Iran’s strategic challenge.”

Although the location was not disclosed, the photo appears to be taken in Israel. Varhelyi openly shared his meeting with Netanyahu, even using the word “honor.”

This move contrasts with the EU’s recent tough stance against Israel after Israel defied the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) emergency order and carried out the Rafah operation.

An EU executive spokesperson reportedly told Euractiv, an EU specialist media, that there was no need for prior approval from Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, for this meeting.

Varhelyi has previously stirred controversy with his unexpected actions. Two days after the Palestinian armed group Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel on October 7 last year, he announced on X that the EU Commission, the largest donor to Palestine, would review its entire development aid portfolio worth $691 million and all scheduled aid deliveries would be suspended until the review was over.

The Commission issued a press release a few hours after his announcement, stating that “humanitarian aid will continue.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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