The Daily Star (Lebanon)

Netanyahu hits out at ‘hostile’ EU ahead of Bulgaria trip

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the EU’s “hypocritic­al and hostile attitude” Thursday as he left for talks with four eastern European leaders in Bulgaria.

Netanyahu has regularly made such comments against the European Union, which is critical of Israel’s occupation and settlement building in the West Bank.

To counter such criticism, he has sought alliances with sympatheti­c EU countries including Hungary, whose nationalis­t stance has been a thorn in Brussels’ side.

To counter criticism, he sought alliances with countries like Hungary

“I leave now to a summit of countries, and I will meet with my friends, the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and the Serbian president,” Netanyahu said.

“This is not just a meeting of friends,” he added. “It is also a bloc of countries with whom I want to promote my policy, to change the hypocritic­al and hostile attitude of the EU.”

Netanyahu made similar comments before leaving for a Baltic summit in August.

The EU recently expressed concern about a new Israeli law which declares that only Jews have the right of self-determinat­ion, and said it would complicate a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinia­n conflict. Beyond the conflict with the Palestinia­ns, the Israeli premier has been eager to convince European countries to exert more pressure on Iran.

EU countries have been at odds with the United States since it pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers and reimposed sanctions. –

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