French Economy and Industry minister Emmanuel Macron
Jerusalem - AFP
French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that while Paris backs EU plans to label products from Israeli settlements, it opposes any boycott of Israel.
"The French and European diplomatic position is clear and has not changed and will not change," he told reporters at the start of a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The labelling plan has been blasted by Israel which says it is the target of an international delegitimisation campaign.
But Macron was adamant that France opposes campaigns such as that of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which aims to put political and economic pressure on Israel over its occupation of the Palestinian territories.
"We are against any practice such as that of the BDS," he said.
In April, France and 15 other European Union countries urged the bloc to clearly label products sold in member counties which originated in Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, all occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Sunday that Israeli diplomats in European capitals were working to halt or at least slow down the labelling plan, which it said was nearing completion.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Florence last month and is to hold talks with Britain's David Cameron later this week.
The EU has consistently condemned Israeli settlement building as a threat to the Middle East peace process through eroding the basis for a future Palestinian state.