EU foreign ministers in settlement product labelling drive

Foreign Secretary William Hague

Foreign Secretary William Hague

EU foreign ministers have shown their support for labelling products from Israeli settlements.

In a letter obtained by AFP on Friday, 13 ministers, including William Hague, told foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton: "We warmly welcome your commitment to work with fellow commissioners to prepare EU-wide guidelines on the labeling of settlement produce."

"This is an important step to ensure correct and coherent application of EU consumer protection and labelling legislation, which is in fulfillment of our previous commitments and is fully consistent with long-standing EU policy in relation to Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories."

Ministers of Britain, France, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland and Slovenia make-up the signatories of the letter.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told the AFP: "This whole labelling initiative is fundamentally discriminatory as it singles out one country and one area for labelling,"

"Surely the EU feels strongly about quite a wide number of areas in controversy around the world and indeed in Europe itself."

In February, the EU formally recommended that its 27 member states “prevent” activity in Israeli settlements.

Last updated: 10:38am, April 22 2013