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Israeli Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern to represent Israel at meeting of EU-Israel Association Council in Brussels, the first in over a decade

“We have been working all year in order to relaunch it,” said Israeli Prime Minister Lapid at the weekly cabinet meeting. “The Council will produce economic agreements and cooperation in technology, trade, and research & development that will jumpstart the Israeli economy and lower the cost of living.” Israel will be represented by Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern at Monday’s meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council in Brussels, the first time this high level body meets in over a decade, writes Yossi Lempkowicz.

While an official Israeli statement said that Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who is also Foreign Minister, would lead the meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council, it is Elazar Stern who will travel to Brussels and lead the Israeli delegation. The exact nature of the premier’s participation in the forum remained unclear, The Times of Israel wrote.

On the European side, EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell as well as the Foreign Ministers of additional countries will participate in the meeting. During the conference, the leaders will review Israel-EU relations, and discuss cooperation and the further development of relations. According to the Israeli foreign ministry, the convening of the Association Council, for the first time since 2012, “is a significant diplomatic achievement that reflects the improvement in Israel’s relations with the EU over the past year”.

“We have been working all year in order to relaunch it,” said Prime Minister Lapid at the weekly cabinet meeting. “The Council will produce economic agreements and cooperation in technology, trade, and research & development that will jumpstart the Israeli economy and lower the cost of living.” The Council is the highest forum steering Israel-EU relations and deals with the full range of these ties, including in science, the economy, energy and the environment. The 27 EU Foreign Ministers agreed last July to hold the EU-Israel Association Council which has not convened since 2012 due to disagreements on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Israel signed an Association Agreement that defined its relationship with the EU in 1995 and ratified it in 2000.

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