Cables show Israeli anti-Palestine efforts

June 10, 2011 at 1:27 PM
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BRUSSELS, June 10 (UPI) -- Israel is lobbying East European countries to oppose U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, diplomatic cables show.

EUobserver, citing the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, reported Friday that top Foreign Ministry officials laid out the strategy to Israeli embassies across Europe.

The cables divide European Union countries into three groups: those opposed to U.N. recognition, firmly pro-Palestinian countries and the undecided.

The wavering countries -- Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania -- will be visited by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Germany and Italy were said to oppose the pro-Palestine move and Belgium, Ireland, Portugal and Sweden to favor it.

One of cables said the EU "will have difficulty reaching a consensus decision on recognizing a Palestinian state, as happened with regard to Kosovo. ... Our goal is to create a momentum against recognition of a Palestinian state in September by creating a significant bloc of EU states that voice their opposition as early as possible."

An Israeli diplomat told EUobserver he had seen some of the cables but could not vouch for all the content.

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