MR KIRBY: Well, as you know, our longstanding position on settlements is clear. We view Israeli settlement activity as illegitimate and counterproductive to the cause of peace. We remain deeply concerned about Israel’s current policy on settlements, including construction, planning, and retroactive legalizations. The U.S. Government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements, because administrations from both parties have long recognized that settlement activity beyond the 1967 lines and efforts to change the facts on the ground undermine prospects for a two-state solution. We are no different.QUESTION: And does that mean – so that means that you have no issue with this EU decision? You support it?MR KIRBY: Well, you’re talking about this – the specific reaction to —QUESTION: Correct. Yeah.MR KIRBY: Yeah. Although I would refer you to the EU for an official response to their policies, they’ve made clear that this is not a boycott in any way and that the EU also made clear that they oppose boycotts against Israel.QUESTION: Right.MR KIRBY: We do not view labeling the origin of products as being from the settlements a boycott of Israel. We also do not believe that labeling the origin of products is equivalent to a boycott.QUESTION: Okay. But in terms of the issue with the agreements and omitting from them the West Bank and Gaza, you also – you think that that – you think that’s okay? In other words, you agree with the EU that this does not indicate a boycott or isn’t a boycott or won’t —MR KIRBY: That’s right. And we —QUESTION: — lead to a – okay.MR KIRBY: And our position on boycotts have not changed.
January 20, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST