The foreign minister, Martin Lidegaard, has revealed that Denmark and the EU may have to consider a tougher stance against Israel if the nation doesn’t change its position in peace negotiations in Cairo this week.
Lidegaard said that should the peace negotiations once again end without progress, then the EU and the Danish government will begin to discuss the possibility of establishing sanctions against Israel.
“If nothing happens at the peace negotiations this time, and if we don’t see a new reaction pattern from Israel, then we will discuss new steps, including a change in our trade relations with Israel,” Lidegaard told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
“I hope that it doesn’t go that far, but I think that EU policy is heading in that direction.”
Must have international backing
Lidegaard wants Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza and end the “illegal settlements” because it undermines a two-state solution with the Palestinians, who must demilitarise Hamas and other militia groups in Gaza.
However, the trade minister, Mogens Jensen, said that he didn’t see the need for sanctions just yet – particularly without international support.
“You can use sanctions when there is international approval for doing so,” Jensen told Jyllands-Posten.
“I don’t think that it makes sense for Denmark to go it alone, because then it will have no effect. And I don’t feel that I can say there is a need for sanctions yet.”