EU to Be Sensitive on Project Funding for Israel: Ashton

The European Union said it will strive not to damage ties with Israel in enforcing its new policy of denying funds for research projects to Israeli organizations operating on the territory of a possible future Palestinian state.

The 28-nation EU will “make sure that in the implementation, we’re doing so very sensitively and we of course want to continue to have a strong relationship with Israel,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters today.

Ashton made the promise after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told EU officials at a meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, that the EU funding restrictions would be an irritant to the newly revived Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The EU announced the restrictions in July to show displeasure with Israeli control of territories including the West Bank and East Jerusalem that were captured during the 1967 war.

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