President Reuven Rivlin has canceled his long-scheduled visit to speak at a session of the European Union parliament, set for December 2, after anti-Israel labeling guidelines were published Wednesday by the EU.
The invitation, extended as far back as March of this year, included a meeting with EU officials at the body’s headquarters in Brussels.
EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen was informed Thursday after being summoned to the foreign ministry that the trip was to be postponed. The ambassador was also told that Israel was suspending diplomatic dialogue with the EU in a number of European forums.
The President’s Residence has confirmed the trip was postponed but did not give a reason for the change.
It is believed the cancelation is part of Israel’s partial suspension of diplomatic dialogue with the European Union in the wake of its new labeling guidelines on goods produced by Jewish manufacturers in Judea and Samaria.
The new guidelines issued Wednesday ban farm goods and cosmetics produced in Judea and Samaria from bearing the label, “Made in Israel.” The European Union considers the existence of Jewish Israeli communities built in those regions following the 1967 Six Day War to be illegal under international law.
Israel vowed it would suspend bilateral dialogue with the European Union over the matter, primarily in the areas of human rights and issues affecting its relationship with the Palestinian Authority. Bilateral dialogue in areas such as education, agriculture, science and culture are expected to continue, according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emanuel Nachshon.