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Meeting with illegal settlement profiteer contravenes EP rules

GUE/NGL MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis has written to the President of the European Parliament to protest about an invitation to the CEO of Casimex – a French importer of  wines from illegal Israeli settlements – to attend a meeting of the Delegation for Relations with Israel.

The official Delegation meeting, which took place this afternoon, was scheduled to discuss the ‘UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and its implications for EU businesses’.

Sylikiotis, who chairs the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Palestine, stated in his letter to Tajani that “the decision of the Delegation for relations with Israel to invite this speaker is very problematic! This meeting would undermine the credibility of the European Parliament and the EU institutions. Therefore, I kindly request that you take all the necessary measures to cancel the invitation.”

The Cypriot MEP added that Casimex should not be granted a platform at the European Parliament when it so blatantly disregards international law and EU legislation:

“Casimex is deeply complicit in violations of international law. Settlements are illegal and settlement businesses give them financial sustainability. Casimex also flaunts EU legislation by labelling illegal settlement products as ‘Made in Israel’. Instead of being rewarded with an invitation to the European Parliament, the company should be held accountable.”

Sylikiotis echoed the concerns of dozens of MEPs from across the political spectrum who also opposed the invitation:

“It is ironic that the meeting addressed UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which unequivocally condemned Israeli settlements. The rules of procedure are clear: the Parliament's international contacts shall be governed by the principles of public international law and the Delegations should represent the Parliament's position as adopted in plenary.”

“It is high time for the EU to take tough action against Israeli settlements. This is a question of integrity: the EU cannot claim to oppose Israeli settlements while importing, according to estimates, over 230 million Euros of settlement products each year,” Sylikiotis concluded.