World Bulletin / News Desk
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Netherlands is committed to a European Union boycott of any institutions which have links to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
"We will abide by the boycott, like all other European Union countries," Rutte told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.
In August, EU Foreign Police Chief Catherine Ashton announced prohibiting the funding by way of grants, scholarships or awards to Israeli institutions which have links to settlements.
The decision has infuriated Israeli officials and settlements financers, who called on the Israeli government to put pressure on the EU to reconsider the decision.
Rutte ruled out that the Netherlands would reconsider the decision under pressures.
"This is an EU decision, so pressures would have no effect on us," said Rutte, who is currently in the Palestinian lands to attend the Dutch-Palestinian Cooperation Forum, which opened on Saturday.
Exports from the West Bank settlements to the EU amounted to $12 billion last year, according to the Palestinian Economic Policy and Research Institute.
The Dutch premier invited Palestinian businessmen to familiarize themselves with European quality standards, particularly in relation to agricultural exports and medicinal herbs.Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Aralık 2013, 16:59