The Netherlands will veto EU sanctions over Israeli settlements: minister

The Netherlands will veto any moves by the European Union to impose sanctions if Israel presses ahead with building settlements on disputed territory east of Jerusalem, foreign minister Frans Timmermans is quoted as saying by news agency ANP.

Timmermans said sanctions are not ‘currently on the agenda’. The minister met with Israeli and Palestinian representatives over the past two days as part of a visit to the Middle East.

The imposition of sanctions would hinder efforts to restart the peace talks and that should be prevented, Timmermans said, adding that it is of great importance to get US secretary of state John Kerry round the table with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

‘President Obama’s initiative is not only the best, but the only option to get the peace process moving again,’ he said in a briefing on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, building on the territory, known as E1, would negatively influence the bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and Israel, the minister said.

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